Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Indian guru's tips to ward off coronavirus anger health professionals

Image of Baba Ramdev seen inside a Patanjali store in Ahmedabad. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

By Alexandra Ulmer

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian healthcare professionals are questioning claims by popular yoga guru and entrepreneur Baba Ramdev who said he has found an ayurvedic remedy that would help ward off coronavirus.

In a promotional video made public this week, Ramdev, in his trademark saffron robes and clutching a sample of the medicinal plant produced by Patanjali, the company he co-founded, says: “We’ve done scientific research and found Ashwagandha ... doesn’t allow blending of corona protein with human protein.”

He did not provide evidence for the research, which he said had been sent to an unspecified international journal.

There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, only investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments under development.

“These kinds of messages give a false sense of security. People who are not well educated, they are the ones who will get misled,” said Dr. Giridhar Babu, a professor of epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, urging the government to ban such advertisements.  Read more >>