Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare recenntly released the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19 in the virtual presence of Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge). Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog and Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog also joined virtually.
An Interdisciplinary Committee for integration of Ayurveda and Yoga Interventions in the ‘National Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19’, chaired by Dr V M Katoch, former Director General ICMR and composed of a group of experts with domain knowledge had formulated the report and submitted recommendations based on acceptable experimental and clinical data. These findings, indicating potential benefits and safety of the medicines, were presented before the National Task Force on COVID 19 and joint monitoring group and subsequently developed into the protocol on the recommendations of NITI Aayog.
Based on their recommendations, the Ministry of AYUSH constituted a National Task Force which, in consensus from expert committees from All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), Delhi, Institute of Post Graduate Training and Research in Ayurved (IPGTRA), Jamnagar, and National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) and other national research organisations, prepared the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19.
Hailing the achievement on the part of Ministry of AYUSH that the advisories for boosting the immunity of the people have become highly popular, Dr Harsh Vardhan noted, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised following AYUSH advisories for management of COVID-19 crisis. This protocol dealing with preventive and prophylactic measures is a significant step in not only in management of COVID but also in making traditional knowledge relevant to solving problems of the modern time”. He expressed satisfaction with the inclusion of easily available and common Ayurvedic herbs and formulations like Guduchi, Ashwagandha, AYUSH-64 in treating mild and asymptomatic COVID cases.
Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke of the role of Ayurveda in the colonial struggle when Harvilas Sharda had compiled a section on hindu medicine to argue for India’s contribution to the World, “Ayurveda can be traced to the Vedic age as a subtext of Atharva Veda. The science travelled to Persia and from there to Europe and had a significant impact in the foundations of Modern medicine”. “Unfortunately, Ayurveda did not receive much attention after independence until Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up this cause with the importance it deserves”, he added.
He detailed the efforts of the government in promotion of AYUSH with ‘The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020’ and the bill to confer the status of Institute of National Importance on the Cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Jamnagar. “Their unanimous passage indicates the consensus in reviving traditional systems of medicine,” he said.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (AYUSH) Vaidya Rajesh Katoch and other senior officials of AYUSH Ministry were also present at the event.