06:21 GMT23 June 2021
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    The Indian Ministry of AYUSH, which deals with alternative medicine, last week released a list of immunity-boosting measures for self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures ranged from drinking warm water to doing deep breathing exercises, steam inhalation, and meditation, among other things.

    The Indian government has come under criticism for promoting a polyherbal formulation as a treatment to fight COVID-19. 

    The Indian Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) is dedicated to developing education, research, and propagation of indigenous alternative medicine systems in the country. Since last Saturday, the ministry has started free distribution of AYUSH 64 at several locations in Delhi. 

    COVID-19 patients or their representatives are being given the tablets free of cost after they produce a positive RT PCR report. In a press release, the ministry said, "AYUSH 64 is a poly herbal formulation that has been found useful in treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 infection. It is recommended in National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga which is vetted by National Task Force on Covid Management of Indian Council of Medical Research and Guidelines for Ayurveda Practitioners for Covid-19 patients in home isolation".

    "It has been repurposed as an add-on to standard care for Covid-19 patients after a robust multi-centre clinical trial which was monitored by Ministry of AYUSH-CSIR Joint Monitoring Committee for clinical trial", said the ministry. 

    However, the move has not gone down too well with some people, many of whom have taken to Twitter to slam the initiative.


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