Mumbai, June 1:
The homeopathic medicine “Arsenicum album 30”, recommended by the Union AYUSH ministry, as a prophylactic medicine against infections, is in great demand as a preventive medicine against COVID-19 in Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
The demand for this medicine has grown after some patients in Malegaon stated to have got relief from infectious diseases and now the medicine is sold for heavy price. The bottle which used to cost Rs. 175 to Rs. 195 is now sold for Rs. 350 Rs.400.
The Ayush ministry had first recommended it on 29 January as a prophylactic against Covid-19. Its advisory had recommended one dose of “Arsenicum Album 30”(AA) for three days in a row on an empty stomach.
Following an advisory by the Ayush ministry, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a circular stating that AA is a “preventive medication” for coronavirus, and allowed its use for high-risk contacts at quarantine facilities in BMC’s certain awards. On May 8, BMC said it will distribute AA, commonly used for respiratory tract infections and flu, for free in the quarantine facilities.
As a result, some of the corporators and NGOs distributed thousands of bottles of AA,free of cost to the people. One of the corporators Bharati Khursunge said that she had procured a bottle of AA at Rs.12 per bottle. Before such a mass distribution, we did our due diligence by talking to doctors. A local homoeopath is making the medicine for us. Now the demand is so high that chemists are selling it an inflated price.
Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration Joint Commissioner D R Gahane said that there is no evidence on whether the medicine, which is given for a broad spectrum of respiratory illnesses, holds any preventive properties for COVID-19, yet its demand has skyrocketed. There are no side effects of this medicine, the efficacy of which as cure for COVID 19 is yet to be ascertained.
The State government has set up a new committee to exclusively look at AYUSH remedies. Dr. T.P. Lahane, who is a part of the committee, said that merits or demerits of the medicines are not known.
One bottle of AA has around 90 tiny pills, enough for a family for several months. The pills consist of the water memory of arsenic trioxide, otherwise a highly toxic substance, which is diluted to a point that only the nano particles remain in the solution and nullify the toxicity.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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