Less than half per cent among 65,000 users of Ayurvedic medicines hospitalised during COVID pandemic: AYUSH Secretary .

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Less than half per cent of around 65,000 COVID-19 patients, who used Ayurvedic formulations, were hospitalised and none of them died due to the pandemic, a top official of the Union Ministry of AYUSH said here today.      

Shri Rajesh Kotech, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, said AYUSH carried out a clinical study with the help of Seva Bharathi, Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) and other universities for a documentation of more than 100,000 COVID patients. “Out of these patients, 65,000 people were in home isolation, and only 300 of them required hospital life. It is less than half per cent and the rate of hospitalisation was 7-10 per cent at that time,” he revealed.

The Secretary was speaking at a session on ‘National Ayush Research Consortium (NARC)’ at the ongoing 9th edition of the World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) & Arogya Expo 2022. The December 8-11 conclave is being organised by World Ayurveda Foundation, an initiative of Vijnana Bharati, with the support of the Ministry of Ayush and Govt. of Goa.

Highlighting that AYUSH is a science and huge expectation is there from the sector, Shri Kotecha called for scaling up research and addressing lack of skilling in this vital sector by bringing all stakeholders together to deliver effective results. 

He said basic science and mainstream science institutions carry out research in various specific areas while research of AYUSH is limited to the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), CCRS and Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCMRUM).

“There is a great mismatching of skilling in the sector and all stakeholders must act together to find a solution,” he emphasised. “We need to find a mechanism that will open up possibilities for the sector, country as well as the globe as there are lots of unanswered questions to be answered.”

In her address, Dr Nandini Kumar, Former Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), stressed the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, inter-professionalism and capacity building, which are required in matters regarding documentation and how to approach ethics committee.

Dr K Madangopal, Senior Consultant, Niti Aayog, said the focus should be on providing a beneficial system to patients and strengthen research data in the AYUSH sector. 

Suggesting for a radical change, Dr Ram Manohar, Director, Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda (ACARA), Amritapuri, said it is important to create a roadmap for research and practice in Ayurveda. 

Dr Kishore Kumar Ramkrishnan, Professor, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), and noted rheumatologist from Pune, Dr Arvind Chopra, were also present.

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