The Madras High Court on Thursday, 9th July 2020, pulled up the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government because the Department of AYUSH or the State in the cure of COVID is not giving Siddha Medicine its due recognition.
The Court was moved against the detention of an individual claiming to be a Siddha Medical Practitioner and the manufacturer of an alleged cure for COVID 19 in a Habeas appeal.
Appreciating that Siddha medicine is the native medicine of southern States, especially Tamil Nadu, the division bench rebuked that "It seems vested interests are acting against the development of Siddha and that is the reason why the Siddha medicines are not properly promoted and published in the media".
Justices N. Kirubakaran and V. M. Vilumani said that a Siddha doctor, who had prepared a COVID 19 infection medication using 66 herbs, had submitted the same to the State Government for review, but the medication had not been tested, prompting him to approach this Court's Madurai Bench.
The medication was only tested after the directions issued by the Madurai Bench and the state government came out with a statement that the said Siddha medication has anti-viral properties. The drug was subsequently directed to be sent for review and effectiveness to the AYUSH Department and to send a report.
"Even though Siddha Doctors are independently curing COVID patients successfully and Tamil Media is reporting the same promptly, English media is not giving any importance and recognition to such an important news", reprimanded the court.
"When a Siddha Doctor has come out with the Siddha drug about three months ago, ie., during the initial stages of COVID 19 infection and if the State Government had been prompt enough to analyze the medicine properly and recommend the same to the AYUSH Department, by this time, the new Siddha medicine would have been recognized by the AYUSH Department and the Siddha Doctor, who developed/produced it and the Siddha medicine would have been celebrated throughout India and the nation would have got a cure for COVID 19 pandemic", scolded the court, adding that this is only "a tip of an iceberg" and that there are many Siddha Doctors who have developed/produced Siddha medicines for COVID 19 infection and other illnesses and have forwarded the same to the State Government.
Noting that it is a fact that throughout the world everyone is desperate for a solution to get rid of the pandemic and so far, no cure has been found for treating COVID 19, the bench stated that "when someone comes forward with a remedy for the said disease, it is the bounden duty of the State Government to analyze the medicine to find out whether it has got anti-viral properties to fight the virus".
Commenting that so far, no Indian Doctor or Researcher has developed any medicine for any disease, the bench fumed that "The apathetic attitude exhibited by the Government is not going to help the Siddha Doctors or the Government or the public in general".
The bench observed it is common knowledge that for the diagnosis of COVID 19 infection no allopathic medicine was found, rather no medication. It is said that only "kabasura kudineer" is given to COVID patients in all hospitals, including private hospitals, apart from immune-boosting medicines such as tablets of vitamin C and zinc and paracetamol and antibiotics, in the case of fever.
"Therefore, the Government has to come out with a statement as to what are all the medicines given for treating COVID 19 patients in Tamil Nadu and as to whether Siddha medicines play a vital role in curing COVID 19", asserted the bench, impleading the Ministry OF AYUSH and the Health Department, State of Tamil Nadu, in the present proceedings.
The Court raised the following queries to be answered by the newly impleaded respondents:
(i) How many Siddha Doctors have, so far, given samples of Siddha drugs developed/produced by them for treating COVID 19 infection for testing/analysis?
(ii) How many medicines have been analyzed?
(iii) How many such medicines have been found to be containing anti-viral properties?
(iv) How many such medicines have been recommended to the Department of AYUSH for testing/analysis/approval so far?
(v) Whether AYUSH department has tested Siddha drugs and sent a report regarding the efficacy of the drugs?
(vi) How much is the allocation of funds made for the development of Siddha system of Medicine and Research for the past 10 years by the State Government?
(vii) Are there any research facilities and institutes available in the State of Tamil Nadu for research and development Siddha Medicines?
(viii) Whether proper experts have been appointed in those research institutes for research work?
(ix) What are the details of allotment of funds made by the Department of AYUSH to various systems of Indian Medicine viz., Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy for the past 10 years? (Details regarding each year in respect of each system has to be produced)
(x) How many research institutes/centers of each Indian Medicine Systems have been established?
(xi) Whether infrastructure facilities for conducting research are provided in all the Centres/institutes with respect to each system of medicine?
(xii) Is there any indigenous medicine developed as a cure for any illness in Indian alternative medicines on par with allopathy medicine?
(xiii) What are the plans of the Department of AYUSH and the State Government for the development of indigenous systems of medicine?
(xiv) Whether proper steps have been taken by the Department of AYUSH as well as the State Government to encourage people to avail of alternate systems of medicine that have no side effects when compared to Allopathy?
The matter will next be heard on 23rd July 2020.