Coronavirus | Bhopal authorities withdraw claim of Homeopathy treatment

The Bhopal district administration has withdrawn an announcement that Homeopathy had contributed to the recovery of six COVID-19 patients, after facing unrelenting backlash from health experts.

The announcement, made in a press release, went against an order of the Union AYUSH Ministry issued in April to all regulatory authorities “to stop and prevent publicity and advertisement of AYUSH-related claims for COVID-19 treatment” in the media. However, the withdrawal came only too late, by when several organisations had published the news.

According to the release, titled ‘A new ray of hope from Homeopathy treatment in Bhopal’, issued by the Divisional Public Relations Office, Bhopal, the Government Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital claimed to have found “a huge success” in treatment of COVID-19 patients using Homeopathy. Six patients, admitted on May 14, were discharged on May 25.

Two discharged children, said the release, were given “no Allopathy medicines,” but only Homeopathy ones. “... For 10 days, despite staying with parents no corona symptoms were seen in them,” it said.

The release quoted Manoj Kumar Sahu, a postgraduate scholar at the college, to say after taking detailed history of patients, based on their symptoms, Homeopathic medicines such as stannum met, bryonia alba, camphor and arsenicum album were given. The symptoms included loss of taste and smell sensation, cough and fever.

‘Surprising results’

“The results were very surprising,” said the release, “after taking Homeopathy medicines a rapid improvement in the condition of patients was seen and no patient required oxygen [support]... Within two-three days, improvement in the condition of all patients was seen.”

Hospital Superintendent Sunita Tomar clarified, “There is no claim that a cure has been found. We are working under AYUSH department’s guidelines.” She added that Homeopathy medicines were being administered only as part of adjuvant therapy, given in addition to primary treatment. In case it did not work for specific symptoms, Allopathic treatment is given to patients.

The hospital, the State’s first Homeopathy COVID care centre, caters to only asymptomatic, mild and possible cases. So far, 46 patients had been admitted there, she said. “They are kept under observation here under the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research. We followed the standard operating procedure to give hydroxychloroquine tablets to only those above 15,” she said.

Stating that Homeotherapy was only for supportive care for COVID-19, she said, “We are saying this kind of care may work. We are not saying it is an alternative one.”

District Public Relations Officer Arun Rathore said the release was drafted by the the college. A note at the top mentions: “This news was issued by the Homeopathy hospital. All the information in it has been given by them.”

‘False hope’

Local activist Rachna Dhingra said such claims of treatment gave false hope to those desperate for a cure. “There is an ethical question of whether an informed consent was taken from the patients before they were given Homeopathy medicines,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 5:33:09 PM |

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