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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai October 24 , 2020
At a time when the Union health minister launched the Ayush standard treatment protocol for COVID-19 management, the department of Ayush in Kerala has directed the practitioners of qualified Ayurveda, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems not to make any advertisement or prescribe any Ayush drug as a potential remedy to cure COVID-19.
 
The state Ayush department’s decision comes at a time when Ayush practitioners in other states are allowed to give medicines for asymptomatic and mild symptoms of COVID patients.
 
However, the practitioners in Kerala can prescribe the medicines specifically mentioned in the government orders as immunity boosters, not as drugs to cure the disease, says a circular issued by the secretary of Ayush, Kerala.
 
Giving warning to the violators of the circular, which was issued on the basis of the court direction and the subsequent government orders, the secretary of the Ayush department, says that the government has directed medical and police departments to monitor the action of the Ayush medical practitioners in this regard. Government is forced to retrain the practitioners in the light of the court order and the government orders issued later.

If any Ayurveda or Siddha or Homoeopathy practitioner acts against this order of the government, the department will be compelled to take strict action. The action against violation of the orders will be as per the norms of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and of the Central and state government orders issued occasionally. Through the circular the Ayush secretary has shared the observation of the court with the traditional medical practitioners that the court had held that the Ayush tablets or mixtures could be given to people with COVID symptoms as immunity boosters, but should not be used as a medicine to cure the disease.
 
Meanwhile, the circular of the Ayush secretary has irked the leading Ayurveda professionals in the state. They argue that the court had held the observation before the union health minister launched the Ayush protocol which was prepared after considering three aspects such as ‘knowledge from Ayurveda classics and experience from clinical practices, empirical evidence and biological plausibility and the emerging trends of ongoing clinical studies’.
 
It is said in the protocol that Ayurveda and Yoga can certainly play a pivotal role to augment preventive measures provided in the guidelines by the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW). Effective management to address coronavirus infection is still evolving and attempts are being made to integrate traditional interventions along with standard of care.

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