The claim is not new. But this time he claims to have certified evidence. Last year, when Covid-19 cases were rising every day in India, Yoga guru Ramdev made his first assertion to have found a cure for Corona infection. He introduced to the world the ‘made-in-Patanjali Research Institute’ ayurvedic medicine Coronil. Speaking to the media at Patanjali headquarters in Haridwar, he had claimed that the tablet had passed the clinical trial on Covid-19 patients. But soon enough, the Indian Council of Medical Research and the AYUSH Ministry had distanced themselves from it, asking Patanjali to stop all advertisements of the medicine till it was verified.
About eight months later, the Yoga guru returned with the Patanjali Institute’s research paper declaring Coronil as the ‘first evidence-based ayurvedic medicine’ against the Coronavirus. This time Ramdev held a press conference in the national capital and he was flanked by two central ministers: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari.
‘Coronil 1st proof-based drug to fight Covid’
Ramdev informed the media that the Coronil tablet has been approved by the Ayush section of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, while Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna in his tweet reiterated that the medicine received a Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CoPP) from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) as per WHO-GMP Certification Scheme.
Yoga guru Ramdev said that the research paper will satisfy those who had earlier questioned the scientific relevance of the medicine. He also said Coronil will be available for exports to 158 countries across the world to fight COVID-19.
The presence of two central ministers on the occasion gave credence to the event who largely spoke of the significance of Ayurveda. While Nitin Gadkari said that Ayurveda can show the way to the world, Harsh Vardhan highlighted Ayurveda’s growing contribution to the economy in the wake of the pandemic. Ramdev, meanwhile, gave credit to the ayurvedic medicines and yogic lifestyle of Indian people for the low Covid fatality rate in the country.
Harsh Vardhan, however, sharing the pictures of the event categorically said that Patanjali has developed ‘first evidence-based medicine for Covid-19.
Covid cure controversy returns after eight months
After the event, a war of words erupted on social media in approval and disapproval of the claims made by Ramdev. Questions were asked if the Ayush ministry in its certificate has clearly stated that the Coronil tablet can cure Covid-19 patients? Some pointed fingers at the reference to the World Health Organisation.
However, hours later Acharya Balkrishna took to Twitter clearing the air that WHO doesn’t have anything to do with the approval of medicines.
The fact of the matter is that the certification of drugs is proceeded by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation under the format recommended by the World Health Organisation. Due to which after receiving the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product CoPP, the medicine automatically gets eligibility for its export to 158 nations. The actual deal for the export still remains a bilateral subject of any two countries/companies.
Importantly, after the June 2020 controversy over its trial data and composition, Patanjali’s Coronil kit was licensed as an immunity booster. Though initially, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Acharya Balkrishna himself had claimed that the medicine could cure Covid-19 patients within 5-14 days.