The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on October 8 raised concerns over the scientific basis of the government's recently released protocol based on ayurveda and yoga for the prevention as well as treatment of asymptomatic and mild patients of COVID-19.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on October 6 released a protocol for the clinical management of COVID-19, that included dietary measures, yoga and ayurvedic herbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for prevention of COVID-19 and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.
"Whether the proponents of this claim and his Ministry are prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective double-blind control study in prevention and treatment of COVID? How many of his ministerial colleagues have so far made the informed choice of getting treated under these protocols?" the IMA asked.
"What is stopping him from handing over COVID care and control to AYUSH ministry? IMA demands that the Union Health Minister should come clean on the above posers. If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs," the body questioned.
Questioning the scientific basis of these protocols, the IMA has asked the health minister "to give reproducibility of a claim elsewhere in non-conflict situations and double blind control studies".
"Is there satisfactory evidence regarding the claims made from studies done on COVID-19 patients based on the above criteria? If so, whether the evidence is weak or moderate or strong? The evidence should be in public domain and available for scientific scrutiny," it said in a statement.
The IMA asked "whether the severe form of COVID-19 a hyperimmune status or an immune deficiency status?"
The doctors' association said that the health minister himself downgraded AYUSH or ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy as history by saying that ayurveda has contributed to the foundation of modern medicine.