Patanjali Ayurveda Limited – the pioneer in ayurvedic and herbal consumer products had made a claim that its research institute had discovered the cure of COVID-19 through Ayurveda. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev – the face of Patanjali claimed that Coronil had proved 100% effective in treating Coronavirus during trials.
The claim has shaken up the country with disbelief as well as hope. The company as well as Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna have been questioned on social media and tagged irresponsible for making such unreal claims. The press release also grabbed the attention of the Ministry of AYUSH who has asked the company to stop promoting the medicine as a cure to COVID until it verifies the claim.
The COVID-19 outbreak has created a panic in the world. With no cure or vaccine in sight and an increasing number of cases, the countries of the world are getting more and more desperate to find an effective treatment for the disease. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific Research (CSIR) organised a nation-wide drug discovery hackathon. This is a high-end hackathon where students are trained with information on how to do computational drug discovery.
In addition to this, pharma companies are on their feet in a race to figure out a cure for the virus. However, so far the companies have been unsuccessful to find a sure shot method of treatment. While they have been able to find alternative medicines to control the symptoms of patients, the researchers are nowhere near in finding an accurate treatment of the viral disease.
News of finding a cure in Ayurveda seems too good to be true at such a time. Amid such suspicion and heavy speculation considering the volatile nature of health scenario of the country, making a claim that the medicine is 100% effective without proving it and waiting for government approval, is beyond irresponsible. It not only creates fake hope among people, but also puts lives of people at risk.
Hypothetically, even of the company was successful in finding the cure, there is no reason why it decided to not follow a protocol that would only help in building trust. The move has been condemned by many in the country and the government has asked the company to hold off the promotions till the company receives approval. However, the question is, how much damage would it cause to the poor of the country who may have been vulnerable and believed the claims. A single act of irresponsibility can hit the largest Ayurveda oriented company very negatively because of the claim.