Nepal, troubled by Covid, also lacks the necessary vaccines to prevent the disease. Neighboring countries are also engaged in importing vaccines in sufficient quantity to protect their citizens. Meanwhile, the Nepal government has banned the distribution of Ayurveda-based Coronil tablets of Baba Ramdev Patanjali company. An order from Nepal Department of Ayurveda and Alternative Medicine said “proper procedures were not followed” while purchasing 1,500 kits of Coronil.
The order said that the nasal kits and tablets “do not equate to drugs having the potential to fight the COVID-19 virus”. The Indian Medical Association’s negative comments on the drug’s efficacy have also been cited. Last month, doctors were furious over Baba Ramdev’s statement on allopathy treatment and demanded action against the yoga guru’s “misinformation campaign”.
Dr. Ravi Wankhekar, former National President of the IMA and Treasurer of the World Medical Association, had said, “We protested against the false promotion of certain drugs as ‘therapeutic’ drugs without the approval of the ministry or the competent authorities. The Ministry of AYUSH also issued a press release asking Patanjali to stop advertising/claiming its drug Coronil as a treatment for COVID-19.
However, Nepal’s health ministry spokesman Dr. Krishna Prasad Paudyal in a statement on Tuesday denied any “formal sanctions” against Coronil. According to news agency PTI, Paudyal said that sometime back a packet of Coronil was gifted to Hridayesh Tripathi, the then Health Minister of Nepal. Apart from this, I have no knowledge in this matter, he said.
Paudyal said that any type of medicines which are to be distributed to the general public, they first need to be registered with the Drug Administration Department under the Ministry of Health and Population.
According to The Hindu, the move has left the government divided in Nepal, as it is being seen as “an attempt by the Oli government to distance itself from the Patanjali group”. Earlier, Bhutan had banned the distribution of Coronil kits in its country.
IMA writes to ICMR seeking intervention
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday wrote to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) against yoga guru Baba Ramdev, accusing him of making “unprovoked derogatory and prejudicial statements against modern medicine”. The letter read, “We are seeking your intervention as a statutorily authorized ‘Guardian’ of modern medicine in the interest of the medical profession and medical professionals. Self-styled godman Ramdev is making fun of it with his harsh public statements. It is a mockery of modern medicine and professionals, a life-saving protocol devised by the Indian Council of Medical Research, which was successfully used and had an unparalleled effect.”