HC asks govt on steps taken to protect people from COVID
The Madurai bench of Madras High Court issued notices to Centre and State on Monday raising questions about the steps taken to protect the people from the coronavirus pandemic, the efficacy of herbal medicines and asked why no steps were taken to test the medicines prescribed by Indian systems of medicine.
The petitioner, S Subramanian, a Siddha practitioner based in Madurai, claimed that there was a herbal medicine that contained 66 herbs that, if taken regularly, could keep viral diseases such as COVID-19. Even in China, where the pandemic originated, traditional medicines helped in controlling the disease, the petitioner claimed.
Subramanian said he had sent representations to State and central governments seeking microbial testing of the herbal medicine he discovered. However, both the governments have not yet given nod. He then sought a direction from the court to the governments to test the efficacy of the herbal medicine to cure the disease.
When the petition came up for hearing, a division bench of Justices PN Prakash and B Pugalendhi noted that scores of people were infected by the virus and many have even died. The bench asked how did the authorities decide to prescribe herbal concoctions such as ‘Kabasura Kudineer’ and ‘Nilavembu Kashayam’, ad asked whether ‘Kabasura Kudineer’ tested for its ability to contain the spread of the virus.
The bench also asked why should the government, which is incurring Rs 50,000 crore expense on medical insurance, hesitate in testing such medicines. It added that the commercial value and profit value of Allopathic medicines may even lead to the vanishing of herbal medicines, and issued notices.
The case has been adjourned to Tuesday for further hearing.