Andhra declares Krishnapatnam medicine safe
The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday declared the medicine distributed by ayurveda practitioner Bonige Anandaiah of Krishnapatnam village in Nellore district to treat Covid-19 patients as “safe and harmless”.
Andhra Pradesh Ayush commissioner Ramulu Naik on Monday told reporters in Vijayawada that the study conducted by a team of experts from the department has revealed that there were no harmful substances in the medicine distributed by Anandaiah.
He said 18 herbs were used in the preparation of the medicine and all were safe with proven medicinal qualities. “So far, 80,000 people have consumed this medicine. We spoke to some of them and there were no complaints from anyone,” Naik said.
He, however, said the medicine could not be certified as an ayurvedic medicine, as it should be decided based on the rules of Drugs and Cosmetics Act. “As such, we cannot call it an ayurvedic medicine for the cure of Covid-19. The government will look into the possibility of allowing it for distribution in some other form,” Naik said.
On Sunday, state principal secretary (medical and health) Anil Kumar Singhal said the government had in-principle no objection to allow Anandaiah to continue distribution of the medicine but added that a final decision would be taken after going through the reports from the Ayush department and an expert team constituted to look into it.
A team from the Ayurvedic College in Tirupati and another from the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Studies, New Delhi, were also studying the efficacy of the medicine, said an official.
Earlier, the chief minister’s office had said that an eight-member team of experts from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) would visit the village to study Anandaiah’s medicine, but the team dropped its plan after the Ministry of Ayush took over the study, said an official in the state secretariat familiar with the development.
Anandaiah, who has been practising herbal medicine for several years, became popular following reports in the local media a few days ago that a medicine he prepared could cure Covid-19 patients. As the news spread, hundreds of people started coming to Krishnapatnam village to take the medicine, which was being distributed free of cost.
Last week, YSR Congress Party legislator from Sarvepalli Kakani Goverdhan Reddy said the medicine would be distributed formally to all patients with effect from Friday. As a result, thousands of people from different parts of Andhra Pradesh and even neighbouring states thronged Krishnapatnam village in Nellore district.
However, following instructions from the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, district officials immediately stopped Anandaiah from distributing the medicine as thousands of people started making a beeline to his clinic, breaking the Covid-19 restrictions.
The chief minister ordered a comprehensive study into the efficacy of the medicine in consultation with the Centre.
Nellore collector K V Chakradhar Babu had earlier said the formula and ingredients of the medicine would be sent to a lab in Hyderabad for analysis. “Depending on the findings, people can approach relevant authorities to obtain permissions through pre-established procedures for distribution of the medicine,” the collector had said.
Ayush commissioner said the lab reports from Hyderabad gave a positive report on Krishnapatnam medicine. “We are awaiting three more reports from various labs. Based on these reports, the government would take a call on allowing the distribution of medicine,” Naik said.