No Advertising for Baba Ramdev’s Coronil, Says Govt. News Channels Do the Job Just Fine


No Advertising for Baba Ramdev’s Coronil, Says Govt. News Channels Do the Job Just Fine

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The pandemic has the whole world searching for a cure for the disease. Doctors, scientists, and pharmaceutical companies the world over are scrambling to find the drug that will help treat patients of the new coronavirus. But yoga guru and co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved Baba Ramdev would have people believe the search is over. On Tuesday, Ramdev told the media that Patanjali Ayurved had developed two new medicines that cure coronavirus – Coronil and Swasari. Ramdev has claimed that the two “medicines” have shown a 100 per cent recovery rate in patients included in Patanjali’s trials.

As expected, Ramdev was quick to introduce Coronil to the media. At a press conference in Haridwar, Ramdev said, “We conducted two trials of these, first clinical controlled study, which took place in Delhi, Ahmedabad, among many other cities. Under this 280 patients were included and 100 per cent of those recovered.”

Patanjali claimed to have developed Coronil and Swasari in collaboration with the privately-owned National Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Jaipur.

The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy systems) was not too pleased. It said it was not aware of the facts related to Patanjali’s claims. It also asked Patanjali Ayurved to stop advertising and promoting Coronil and Swasari as cures for coronavirus. Such claims are regulated under the provisions of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.

In a statement put out yesterday, Ministry of AYUSH asked Patanjali Ayurved to “provide at the earliest details of the name and composition of the medicines being claimed for COVID treatment; site(s)/hospital(s), where the research study was conducted for COVID-19; protocol, sample size, Institutional Ethics Committee clearance, CTRI registration and results data of the study.”

But even as the government pulled up Ramdev, he was busy giving interviews to news channels promoting his newfound “cure” for the coronavirus.

Ramdev has claimed that the rebuke from the ministry is due to a “communication gap”, and that there is nothing false about his claims. However, he is also the same person who said he could cure homosexuality through yoga, so perhaps his words should not be taken at face value.