When Indian medical system failed to provide adequate treatment for Covid, in this times for about a month, thousands of people, including Covid-19 patients, flocking at Krishnapatnam town in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district for free "herbal medicines" against the deadly infection.
This also led rising concern for spreading infection as thousands gather at same place violating social distancing norms.
Bonigi Anandayya, a self-proclaimed ayurvedic practitioner, distributed his herbal concoctions and a popular eye drop among gatherers. While a section of district officials said his "medicines" promised to boost immunity against the coronavirus, there were others who claimed the treatment worked even among those suffering from breathlessness.
On Friday, the Andhra government stopped the distribution of the so-called Ayurveda medicines. The state, however, has not taken any action against him because his "medicines have not shown any visible side-effects". However, Anandayya was not and authorised practitioner and his eye drop could have negative effects in the long run.
Health department officials also said samples of what he distributed will be tested by a team of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and an ICMR team is likely to fly down to Nellore on Saturday. Samples of the "medicines" have also been sent to a lab in Hyderabad for further analysis.
According to Anandayya he had been selling his "medicines" for a year, benefitting even "terminally ill" people. He said people criticising him should first speak to those who have got desired results.
Though there is no scientific evidence of Anandayya's concoctions being effective, ruling YSR Congress Party MLA Govardhan Reddy (Sarvepalli district) backed Anandayya's treatment.
Earlier this month, the AYUSH ministry said it had launched a nationwide campaign to distribute poly herbal ayurvedic drug AYUSH 64 and Sidha medicine KabasuraKudineer for Covid-19 patients in home isolation (mild to moderate cases). The effectiveness of these drugs has been proved through robust multi-centre clinical trials. The ministry has also advised immunity-boosting measures through Ayurveda as a preventive step.
While the probe report was filed at the beginning of this week, no restrictions were placed on Anandayya from distributing his mixtures, including the eye drop that has been red-flagged.
Even before Friday's crackdown, thousands of people from different parts of the state gather despite a lockdown from 12 noon to 6 am.
His crowd sees several kind of people, a senior citizen on oxygen support travelled nearly 40km to reach the place. According to the people gather to collect his medicine, they said to reporters that his medicines working well than in hospital.