Everything That?s Wrong with Baba Ramdev?s Coronil

Patanjali’s new coronavirus kit, which the company’s founder Baba Ramdev claims can cure Covid-19, has been the subject of much scrutiny. After the yoga guru began endorsing Coronil and Swasari in televised press conferences, the Centre and state governments have distanced themselves from the wonder Ayurvedic drugs.

The first to raise objections was the Ministry of Ayush. On Tuesday, the day of the supposed launch of the “coronavirus kit”, it ordered the company to stop publicising claims of a cure until it could look into the matter.

A day later, the Uttarakhand government stepped in, announcing that Patanjali Ayurved had not mentioned that it was going to market the drug as a cure for the new coronavirus when it had applied for a licence. “We will issue them a notice asking how they got permission to make the coronavirus kit,” an official was quoted as saying.

The Rajasthan government, meanwhile, said it had no knowledge of clinical trials taking place at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Jaipur.

In fact this private institute where the trial was conducted also has a murky past. It seems to have no prior experience in conducting clinical trials and has in the past been accused for violating rules, Scroll.in reported.

In fact, according to The Indian Express, when patients included in the “trial” began to show even mild symptoms, they were administered allopathic drugs instead of the supposed Ayurvedic cure. The trials, the report says, were only conducted on asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals.

“This is just an interim report with a sample size of 100 Covid-19 patients. The final report and the findings will be published after 15-25 days and then it will be sent for peer review,” an official told the newspaper, admitting the study hadn’t been peer reviewed.

According to another report, it turns out that even the administration in Indore, which had earlier allowed Patanjali to do trials on its Ayurvedic drug, had cancelled its order two days later. The administration had said that it would wait for government approval before giving the go-ahead as far back as March 24.

On Thursday, even the Maharashtra government warned that legal action will be taken against Patanjali if they try to advertise their coronavirus kits in the state.

Despite all these warnings, and lack of clarity over the clinical trials that the company claims showed a 100 per cent recovery rate, Baba Ramdev continues to appear on news channels claiming he has the cure. The kits even have a price tag to them — ?545.

With the chorus of experts demanding more information about the trials conducted growing, hopefully we will have some more clarity. Until then, it’s best to treat Coronil as an immunity booster, just like good old Chyawanprash

This article was first published in Arre