As the country continues its battle with COVID-19, the top three most affected states observe a steady increase in the number of cases. Tamilnadu, which recently moved to the second position, preceded by Maharashtra at first, recorded a total of 1,47,324 cases with over 4,500 new ones as of July 14.
The state’s capital, Chennai had recorded 15,814 active cases with 4,743 discharged patients.
Amidst the efforts of several medical researchers and doctors prescribing allopathic medicines for affected patients, small medical care centres set up all over the city, have been testing alternative measures like Siddha, and showing increasingly positive results.
The state government, taking note of the progress shown in the various Siddha centres, had recently authorized using Siddha as an accepted method of treating the COVID-19 says the report.
One such centre opened up at Jawahar Engineering College in Saligramam, recently gathered attention for having cured apparently over 1,000 infected patients, according to local news sources.
According to a report by Indian Express, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan spoke about how Siddha is a viable option for patients who aren’t showing signs of a ‘full-fledged infection’ and do not require ventilator support.
“We are closely monitoring the Siddha Centres in Chennai; those who need oxygen supply are immediately shifted to government hospitals. We are planning to set up Siddha Centres across the state,” he stated.
Dr Veerababu, who is credited with being the person behind the initiative, said that most of the patients in the Siddha centres are those showing mild symptoms and that those who were asymptomatic were advised to stay at home. The patients typically take over a week to ten days to recover. The state-certified Siddha practitioner also stated that there have been zero deaths so far, as the treatment includes the use of natural herbs that do not put the lives of the patients at risk.
“Patients are allowed to do activities like Yoga, walking, and even some of them play games like cricket which, gives them much-needed relaxation. If they need oxygen support, then we direct them to a government hospital,” he said, as stated in the report.
Local reportage by TV channels like Puthiya Thalaimurai is filled with clips of masked patients having the freedom to run, play and interact with fellow patients while following safety precautions like maintaining proper sanitary protocols.
However, it is to be noted that most of the patients here are those in the initial stages of contracting the COVID-19.
When asked about any possible replacements of Siddha medicine to drugs like Dexamethasone or Remdesivir, which are being prescribed to patients in more severe stages of treatment, Dr Latha Rani M, Siddha Expert, and Professor at Sri Sairam Siddha Medical College and Research Center said; “I’m not too sure if Siddha is currently as effective for such cases.”
“The treatment in the Siddha centres includes the administration of natural immunity boosters like those in Kabasura Kudineer which has been effective both as a preventative and for treatment. There are no pharmacological studies that prove its effectiveness as of now; however, trials are being conducted in institutions like Dr MGR Janaki College and others, for the same.”
Kabasura Kudineer is the name of a herbal concoction typically made of several natural ingredients like ginger, cloves, and more.
The State Government’s announcement of Siddha as an accepted measure of treatment was followed by the addition of Yoga and Naturopathy on the list on July 14.
According to a news report by News18, both these measures have shown improvement in lung health and immunity of affected patients.
“The patients were taught simple Yogasanas and pranayama to improve lung health, besides being administered aromatherapy,” said Dr C. Vijayabhaskar, State Health Minister of Tamil Nadu, in a press release issued on Tuesday.
It also stated that Yoga and Naturopathy Treatment is currently being administered in government and taluk hospitals, supervised by over 200 experts.