From the Viewsroom

Questions for modern medicine

A Srinivas | Updated on December 29, 2020

Let’s look beyond the vaccine or remdesivir to fight Covid-19

At the close of this Covid-stricken year, it can be reasonably said that modern medicine has dominated the discourse on the cures and preventives for the pandemic. This has culminated in the vaccine being considered as the magic solution to the virus. Without belittling the advances made on the vaccine and its potential to stop the spread of the pandemic, its cost to the public and the taxpayer cannot be brushed aside. Pharma firms producing this are being publicly funded, and yet seek intellectual property protection.

But it is not for cost reasons alone that alternative treatment pathways should be considered. After months of experimenting with Covid treatment cocktails, the jury is still out on whether anti-virals such as remdesivir are effective. Now, the emergence of a ‘black fungus’ infection in the Capital has been attributed to excessive use of steroids in treatment, reducing immunity levels in Covid patients. Among other post-Covid complications is ‘brain fog’, again attributed to the medication. At the same time, naturopaths and homoeopaths have claimed less expensive preventives and cures, such as thickened barley water and sweet lemon juice and PrevengHo-Vir, a homoeopathic preventive developed by Cuba. The Indian government is right in advocating non-allopathic options, just as Cuba’s offering has been picked up by 30 countries. It is important to focus future research into why Covid has wreaked havoc in certain regions while sparing others. This could lead to ‘preventives’ based on lifestyles and inexpensive remedies.

In a paper on Cuba’s Covid success, historian Vinay Lal has argued that “there is a record of Cuba having achieved some success in combating epidemics partly with the aid of homoeopathy”. He elaborates: “Homoeopathy is not a mere afterthought in Cuba, a remedy sought in desperation...the point here is a more complex one..” — of questioning the “claim of allopathy as being the only form of medicine derived from scientific method”. Covid-19 has laid the basis for this questioning.

Published on December 29, 2020

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