AYUSH Ministry Unaware
The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in India said it does not know the facts of the claim and details of the stated scientific study from Patanjali. AYUSH asked Patanjali to provide the composition, sample size, research sites and other details of their study. Until examination, it also ordered the firm to stop advertising the product.
Meanwhile, some allopathy doctors agreed to immunity boosting capacity of the Ayurvedic herbs used in Coronil. They do have good anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. However, they questioned if it can cure Coronavirus.
Response from Patanjali
In an interview to media, M.D. of Patanjali Ayurved, Acharya Balkrishna said there was a communication gap. Following the statement from AYUSH, he said they have given information to the Ministry. He said Patanjali conducted randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials and just launched the medicine, not publicizing or propagating it. He also said they launched the Aurvedic medicine Coronil to serve COVID-19 patients in the pandemic time.
On the other hand, an AYUSH ministry official said they will examine the findings of Patanjali and see “if the claims are true.”
About the Study and Issues
Patanjali said they conducted trials in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Meerut among many other cities under the supervision of the Dr. Balvir Tomar, founder of NIMS University in Jaipur. They in fact took permission from CTRI (Clinical Trials Registry – India), a body of Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for the study and launched the product. But the medicine was not registered/approved from Central Drugs Standard Control Organization or ICMR. After the press release from AYUSH Ministry, Health Department of Government of Rajasthan sent a letter to NIMS, Jaipur seeking an explanation.
In response, Chairman and Chancellor of NIMS, Jaipur, Dr BS Tomar said the question of whether Coronil should have been propagated as immunity booster or cure should be asked from Patanjali. He also said they will respond to the letter from Government. He mentioned the same in the video interview with India Today. Notably, he also mentions it was a pilot study – a small scale preliminary one.
On the other hand, the principal investigator conducting the clinical trials for the Patanjali products said the trials were incomplete. NIMS Jaipur professor of medicine, Dr Ganpat Devpura revealed some more details. He said what they submitted is an interim report, so calling it a cure is simply wrong. He also revealed the sample size is very small – comprising of 100 asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients. It should be noted, COVID-19 patients usually recover well in India and death rate is low. So, again, calling Coronil and the CoronaKit a cure for COVID-19 is questionable. Examination of the claims from AYUSH Ministry will reveal the authenticity of the cure claims.
Hoax or Fact:
Mixture of Hoax and Facts.