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AYUSH ministry recommends homeopathy, ayurveda to prevent coronavirus; draws flak on Twitter

Coronavirus: As of now, there is no specific cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which causes severe acute respiratory infection.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: January 29, 2020 7:27:29 pm
AYUSH ministry recommends homeopathy, ayurveda to prevent coronavirus; draws flak on Twitter Chinese family wearing face masks walk in a pedestrian crossing in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. Tourism Council of Thailand said Tuesday that new coronavirus outbreak estimated to cost 50 billion Bhat (1,613,892 US Dollars) in lost tourism income for Thailand’s economy due to China’s blanket ban on tourists leaving its effected cities. (AP Photo)

Even as China battles the outbreak of deadly coronavirus, the AYUSH ministry Wednesday issued a health advisory and recommended that traditional Indian medicine practices—Homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Unani—could be effective in the prevention of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infections.

The advisory, which was issued following a meeting of the scientific advisory board of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) under the Ministry of AYUSH, drew strong reaction on social media, with many criticising it. As of now, there is no specific cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which causes severe acute respiratory infection. The virus that has so far killed 132 people and affected at least 6,000 others in China.

The AYUSH ministry has recommended that homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30 could be taken empty stomach daily for three days as a prophylactic medicine against the infection. The dose should be repeated after one month by following the same schedule in case the nCoV infection prevails in the community, the advisory said, adding that the same has also been advised for prevention of influenza-like illness.

Explained | Why China has emerged as the epicentre of global outbreaks of disease

It has also suggested some Ayurvedic medicines, Unani decoctions and home remedies which can be useful in symptomatic management of nCoV infections. It also suggested general hygienic measures for prevention of air-borne infections such as maintaining personal hygiene, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

Explained | How to read the AYUSH ministry advisory on coronavirus infection

Besides, the ministry has advised covering face while coughing or sneezing and preferably using an N95 mask while travelling or working in public places to avoid droplet transmissions. “If you suspect Corona Viral infection, wear a mask and contact your nearest hospital immediately,” the advisory said.

Here are some reactions on Twitter:

According to World Heath Organisation, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. CoV are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

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