The AYUSH Ministry has decided to invite scientific proposals on therapies and procedures that could restrain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic using the Indian system of medicines.
The ministry on Tuesday said it has initiated action on the prime minister's advice to work for scientific evidence-based solutions and decided to set up a channel to enlist various suggestions and proposals from AYUSH practitioners and institutions, and examine their viability through a group of scientists.
Further, in follow-up to the call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help stop big claims without evidence about the treatment of COVID-19, the Ministry of AYUSH has initiated steps to curb such claims through creation of awareness, it said in a statement.
The ministry is using platforms like video-conferencing and social media to reach out to AYUSH practitioners and involve them in stopping and discouraging false and unsupported claims.
In a video conference held on March 30, nearly 100 thought leaders from different disciplines of AYUSH participated, and among other things, also resolved to work for spreading awareness against such inappropriate claims.
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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
One of the follow-up action being initiated by the Ministry of AYUSH on the PM's call to work for scientific evidence-based solutions from the AYUSH systems is to set up an online channel on its website for receiving suggestions based on scientific explanations and proposals on therapies and procedures prepared based on standard scientific guidelines that could restrain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic or to manage the disease, the ministry said in its statement.
The ministry has accordingly invited inputs from AYUSH practitioners and AYUSH institutions (institutions may include colleges/ universities, hospitals, research institutes, AYUSH manufacturers, AYUSH associations etc.).
The inputs can be submitted on the ministry's website at the following link: http://ayush.gov.in/covid-19.
The inputs received will be scrutinised by the committee of experts.
Those proposals recommended by the scrutiny committee will be further vetted by a group of scientists from diverse specialties.
"Wherever possible, those proposals may be taken up for validation studies," the ministry said.
The observations of the prime minister came during an interaction held through video conference with prominent personalities from the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) Sector on March 28.The Union Health Ministry said the death toll due to COVID-19 has risen to 32 and the number of total positive cases to 1,251 as on Monday 9.30 PM, up from 1,024 positive cases and 27 deaths as on Sunday evening. While there are more than 1,100 active cases, nearly 100 have been cured.