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Coronavirus | In Howrah, BJP to distribute homeopathic drug for immunity-building

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In West Bengal, where homeopathy enjoys a respectable status and where Assembly elections are due next year, the BJP in Howrah will distribute — for free — a homeopathic drug that supposedly helps ward off COVID-19 by boosting immunity.

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The party has a considerable presence in Howrah — which lies across the River Hooghly from Kolkata — where saffron flags are a common sight and where some Hindu festivals whose celebrations are largely confined to north India are also observed with great fervour.

On Saturday, a party worker went around the streets of Howrah in a battery-run rickshaw, announcing the free distribution of Arsenicum album 30 — the homeopathic drug — at the local party office on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The man could be heard announcing repeatedly in Bengali: “The drug is being sold in the market for ₹100, ₹150, ₹200. In fact, now it is not even available in stores. But we BJP workers, who have been trying hard to fight the pandemic, are going to give it you for free so that people in the neighbourhood stay fit and healthy.”

The man, however, cautioned that the drug was not meant to treat COVID-19 and should be taken only to enhance immunity. He asked residents to come to the party office on Sunday, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and get a vial each by showing their voter ID or Aadhaar card.

Arsenicum album 30 has been recommended by the Ministry of AYUSH for prevention of the infections but apparently there are no credible studies or tests that prove it to be effective in preventing them.

But that shouldn’t matter. In March when COVID-19 was just about beginning to spread, a small-time BJP leader in Kolkata had organised a cow urine-drinking competition, claiming it would protect people from getting infected. A bystander — a home guard — who drank it fell ill, following which the BJP leader was arrested. And not too long ago, party West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh made news when he claimed that cow’s milk contained gold.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 3:10:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-in-howrah-bjp-to-distribute-homeopathic-drug-for-immunity-building/article31710736.ece

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