Bhopal: Doctors claim homeopathy cured coronavirus patients, experts unhappy
At a time when the world is scrambling to produce a vaccine for coronavirus, a state-run homeopathy hospital in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, claimed it has treated six patients, drawing fire from health experts. The experts reminded of the World Health Organization's guidelines, pertaining to the treatment of COVID-19 patients, while demanding a ban on such trials, reports HT. Here are more details.
Last night, the district administration released a note informing about the development. On May 14, six patients, including two children whose parents tested positive for COVID-19, were admitted. They are now returning home after recovering completely, the note said. "These children too were given homeopathy medicines. No allopathy medicine was given to children. They were only given homeopathy medicines," the statement claimed.
Contesting this claim, Bhopal Collector Tarun Pithode said, "It would be wrong to say they were treated only by homeopathy. It could be incidental. The patients might have been immunity boosters."
As per Hospital Superintendent Dr. Sunita Tomar, the patients were given Hydroxychloroquine, only during admission. Later, they were given immunity boosters. The patients didn't need oxygen support and none of them had to be referred to bigger facilities, the hospital claimed. Dr. Manoj Kumar Sahu, who reportedly worked on the case, said homeopathy medicines were decided after learning of the patients' medical histories.
"After knowing the detailed history of all these patients homeopathy medicines were selected and the dose was decided. The result was surprising. After taking homeopathy medicines, there was a fast improvement in the condition of patients and none of the patients needed oxygen support," he said.
Notably, 47 patients are still recuperating there. Reacting to the claim, public health expert Amulya Nidhi said only WHO prescribed treatment must be followed. The AYUSH Ministry has only detailed steps to improve one's immunity, she underlined. "As far as a clinical trial on COVID-19 patients through any alternative system of medicines is concerned, no such trial has been allowed by ICMR," she said.
Calling for a ban on such trials she said that such claims are dangerous, not only for other patients but for the entire country. She added that central and state governments are repeatedly asking people, displaying coronavirus symptoms, to get themselves admitted at allopathy hospitals. Such a claim may stop people from going to these designated hospitals, she argued.
On a related note, Novavax, an American biotech company, announced that it started human trials of coronavirus vaccine in Australia. In the first phase, 131 volunteers from Melbourne and Brisbane signed up to judge the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. Separately, almost a dozen vaccines will start human testing soon. Most of these candidates are from China, US, and Europe.