Yogarishi Ramdev Baba's acrobatic Praanayam and deft Kapaalbhaatis have usually won him fans and lovers. The latest aasaan by Ramdev may not go down well even with his ardent lovers.
The latest move from Baba's arsenal of Yogic postures is the U-Turn-Aasan. Ramdev's opinions on Coronil have changed within a week. From a drug promising "treatment" to Aayush ministry's outright rejection to even an FIR, here's a look at Patanjali's timeline of Coronil, the chest-thumping and the ultimate - The U-turn-aasaan.
23rd June 2020: Coronil is introduced to the world as "Covid Cure", an objectionably boisterous claim. Patanjali says its trials found 100 percent recovery on patients with mild cases. Twitter is abuzz with memes mocking these claims.
24th June 2020: Minister of State for Ayush Minister Shripad Naik says his ministry will clear the air on Patanjali's ayurvedic kit of Coronil - Divya Swasari, Divya Coronil Tablet and Divya Anu tela (unfortunately, some media reports named this oil as 'Andu tela' as if it were to magically undo the virus out of a covid patient's system). In a release, the Ministry said facts of the claim and details of the stated scientific study were not known to it. Naik said Patanjali Ayurved should not have advertised the drug.
25th June 2020: Elaborating on lack of approvals, Yoga Guru is quoted in reports as saying that the fiasco was owing to a "communication error". "Maybe ICMR, CTRI or any other agency could not communicate with Ayush Ministry," he was quoted as saying even while emphasizing "100% recovery possible within seven days".
26th June 2020: Media is divided whether this is India's glory moment or a case of unethical drug research and marketing. There are reports seeking Patanjali Ayurved to be tried for criminal cases.
27th June 2020: An NIE report quotes BS Tomar of the NIMS as saying, "there was no clinical trial in our hospital of the drug. There was no serious case in the patients we admitted. Only 100 asymptomatic patients were given few Ayurvedic medicines under the sponsorship of Patanjali. But we did not prepare any medicine nor did we know its name."
"We had not asked for medicine to cure coronavirus but only these ayurvedic immunity boosters. Whoever got these, recovered 35% faster. That is all," adds Dr Tomar in the report.
28th June 2020: Advocate Balram Jakhar of the Rajasthan High Court is reported as having filed an FIR against Ramdev, Patanjali's CEO Acharya Balkrishna, Dr Balbir Singh Tomar, Director of NIMS University, Jaipur. The advocate in his complaint filed his complaint a day ago calling Patanjali's claims as reeking "of criminal intent".
30th June 2020: Ayush Ministry says Patanjali Ayurved can "sell Coronil only as an immunity booster" and not as "cure". Uttarakhand's Ayurveda department explains there was an application for licence to manufacture immunity booster, not a cure for COVID-19. Accordingly, the licensing authority has been asked to ensure that the packaging does not mention the word "cure".
Even images representative of a single molecule of Coronavirus emblazoned on the box are to be removed according to licensing officials. Patanjali responded to a report questioning the validity of the first press conference by saying, "We have only promoted the successful trial of the medicine before the media."
1st July 2020: The most latest press conference, the U-turn Aasan is revealed to the world. Yoga guru admits to Ayush ministry's term of Coronil as a "Covid management drug". Ramdev also adds that there is no trace of metals in the medicines and that the pills will be ready for general consumption from 1st July.
Speaking on the question of whether Coronil was a cure, Ramdev answered - "Yeh immunity booster hai ayurved ke traditional rules ke hisaab sey" - This is an Ayurvedic immunity booster.
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Baba Ramdev, Coronil and U-turn-aasaan
Cartoonist: Satish Acharya
Text: Sify Finance