NELLORE: Even though the state government has not approved the ayurvedic medicine for COVID-19 being prepared by Bonigi Anandaiah, people in large numbers visited Krishnapatnam village in Muthukur mandal, Nellore district, to obtain it. The rush was such that there was a stampede like situation.
Following his announcement on Thursday, Sarvepalli MLA Kakani Govardhan Reddy launched the re-start of distribution of ayurvedic medicine to the public in the village on Friday. Hours after the start of distribution of medicine, organizers postponed it for two days in view of the heavy rush. Mandatory physical distancing and Covid safety precautions were discarded.
With the news that the distribution of Ayurvedic medicine will commence from Friday going viral on social media platforms, people in huge numbers started visiting the village from the early hours of Friday. Large queues were witnessed at the medicine distribution point in this small seaside village, located 26 km from the district headquarters -- Nellore.
Roads leading to Krishnapatnam were full of vehicles and even 3-4 ambulances with infected patients were seen waiting for their turn. Krishnapatnam Police arranged check posts at various places and tried to control the traffic but in vain.
When the MLA left the medicine distribution camp after inaugurating it, organizers administered medicine to some people and announced that the medicine distribution programme has been postponed for two days. After some arguments with organisers, several of those who came to get the medicine started returning to their respective places. The herbal medicine prepared by Bonigi Anandaiah is administered as eye drops.
Following reports of ayurvedic medicine for COVID-19 being distributed in Krishnapatnam and also on the directions of the Lokayukta, the district collector KVN Chakradhar Babu on May 17 constituted a three-member committee to probe the matter. The team comprising district panchayat officer M Dhana Lakshmi, DMHO Dr S Rajyalakshmi, Nellore rural DSP Y Harinath Reddy along with Ayush doctors, visited and collected samples from the practitioner.
The team reported to the Collector that the practitioner is not a qualified ayurvedic doctor and the preparation is not a medically approved standard recipe. They also opined that the ingredients being used in the preparation are general herbs available in the market and the dosages are substandard. The team also stated that the ingredients used in the eye drops may affect the eyesight in the long run. Further, they opined that the medicine may be given a fair clinical trial. District Collector KVN Chakradhar Babu submitted a report to the Lokayukta on the same day and the report was also submitted to the state government.
Bonigi Anandaiah from Krishnapatnam who created the medicine hails from an agricultural family. He was interested in ayurvedic medicine and learnt the basics and medicine formulas from his teacher Swamy Guravaiah who is also a follower of Venkaiah Swamy in Golagamudi. Further, he learnt more techniques in preparation of ayurvedic medicine in Red Hills in Tamil Nadu.
‘The Ayurvedic medicine is prepared with some medicinal herbs. It is prepared as both preventive and curative medicine. I had been distributing the medicine for the last one month. The rush has been increasing day by day. My son has donated around Rs.1 lakh for preparing the medicine in the initial days. Now, people are voluntarily donating herbs and other useful material for the preparation of the medicine,’ said Bonigi Anandaiah.
Some of the ingredients used in the preparation of medicine are honey, pepper, green camphor, nutmeg, black cumin, cinnamon and leaves of some herbal plants. He along with some others have been preparing the medicine and distributing it free of cost in Krishnapatnam village.
Meanwhile, P V Ramesh, retired IAS officer, described it as another recipe for disaster and tweeted, ‘Those preparing and promoting this Krishnapatnam concoction and statement are punishable under the Pharmacy Act 1948 and Drugs & Magic Remedies Act 1954,’.
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