Union health minister Harsh Vardhan. Photo: Facebook/Harsh Vardhan.
On February 19, at a packed event at New Delhi’s Constitution Club, a company announced the publication of a clinical trial’s results and launch a new indigenously developed treatment for COVID-19 infections. Sharing the platform with the company’s two founders were two senior members of the Union cabinet, health minister Harsh Vardhan and transport minister Nitin Gadkari.
The company in question was Patanjali Ayurved; the treatment, according to the blurb, was the “first evidence-based medicine for coronavirus”, named Coronil; and the two founders were Baba Ramdev, the well-known yoga guru, and Acharya Balkrishna, the company’s managing director.
Health minister Harsh Vardhan endorsed the drug and extolled Patanjali Ayurved’s research as establishing the role of Ayurveda in an integrated holistic system of medicine.