KOCHI: With Covid-19 cases on the rise, Kerala is turning to ayurveda for the prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation of Covid-19. The steep rise in the number of cases has also prompted the state government to use all possible means, including Ayurveda, to enhance the preparedness of the state. According to reports, over 8 lakh people, including those in home, institutional and reverse quarantine have availed various ayurveda strategies.
This is despite the fact that the state government is focusing only on the preventive and promotive aspects of ayurveda. It is yet to grant permission for curative care despite the Ministry of Ayush coming out with protocols for Covid-19 treatment through Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha.
Ayur Raksha clinics
The Indian System of Medicine, Kerala and National Ayush Mission, Kerala have rolled out a slew of programmes to fight Covid-19 through 1,206 Ayur Raksha Clinics across the state. According to the authorities, these clinics are struggling to meet the huge demand for preventive medicine. As part of the Amrutham programme, preventive medicines have been given to over 2.25 lakh population in the state till date. According to Ayurveda researchers, the conversion rate (persons who turned positive while taking preventive medicine) is only 0.342 per cent per lakh.
“We have submitted the report to the state government. A comparative study was done on the conversion rate in modern medicine and ayurveda medicine to assess the impact of preventive medicine. We are yet to get a response. We have asked the state government for permission to treat uncomplicated Covid-19 cases at the first-line treatment centres. As per our studies and findings, Amrutham is very effective and could be tried on positive patients,” said an official.
However, the state-level advisory committee of the Kerala government recommending ICMR guidelines for Covid-19 treatment in the state blatantly ignores other forms of medicines, including homeopathy and ayurveda. “The Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the expert committee have raised objections which is unfair. There is no definitive treatment for the infection in modern medicine and they should let us practice our form of medicine at least at CFLTCs,” said the official.
For rolling out the programmes, the authorities have constituted task forces under 1,206 Ayur Raksha Clinics in the state. “The task force will be delivering the medicines to the beneficiaries and doing followups for 28 days. We don’t have the resources to extend the programmes despite the demand,” said an official of Indian System of Medicine, Kerala.