Andhra man in viral video vouches for Brinjal-based ‘COVID Cure’ eye drops now in intensive care
Multiple cases of chemical conjunctivitis have been observed in COVID-19 patients who used the disputed herbal eye drops.
Days after video of a COVID-19 patient saying he felt better after taking Krishnapatnam’s controversial herbal treatment in Andhra Pradesh went viral, authorities said he was hospitalized and now undergoing treatment in an intensive care unit with oxygen. The patient in the video, a retired director from the neighboring Kota mandal district of Nellore, had traveled to Krishnapatnam to try the herbal preparations distributed by a local doctor named Bonigi Anandaiah. In a video widely shared on social media and broadcast by several news channels, Kotaiah, who had arrived from a hospital where he was treated for a week with an oxygen mask, said he felt much better afterwards. have received the eye drops. prepared by Anandaiah.
Kotaiah was one of many similar testimonies attesting to the preparations for Anandaiah that had been widely shared. The eye drops were being administered with claims that they could help increase the drop in blood oxygen levels in critical COVID-19 patients. The drops were made from honey, tail pepper and the pulp of a certain type of brinjal, according to information shared by Anandaiah. Rationalists urged the state government not to allow “treatment” of Krishnapatnam until it has been proven to work, as it would promote belief in unscientific treatments.
Nellore Joint Collector MN Harendhira Prasad said Kotaiah was admitted to hospital on May 23 with a CT severity score of over 20 at the time of admission. According to a doctor familiar with Kotaiah’s condition, he is on oxygen in the intensive care unit with his blood oxygen level fluctuating around 85. The doctor said Kotaiah had complained of irritation and eye redness at the time of hospitalization, and it has been found to have chemical conjunctivitis. He added that several patients who took the herbal treatment continued to be hospitalized because the “cure” failed to relieve their condition. “We saw about 24 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital, who had received Anandaiah’s treatment. Some of them complained of eye irritation and consulted an ophthalmologist. A few people seem to instantly feel better after taking the eye drops, but there is a chance of getting chemical conjunctivitis eventually, although individual reactions may vary, ”said the doctor.
With a few people reporting that they felt better after taking the eye drops, and with an improvement in their oxygen levels, the untested herbal concoctions that were given away free by Anandaiah had become very popular. Last week, the distribution was halted by the district authorities, who sent the preparations to be studied in an Ayurveda laboratory. On May 21, distribution resumed with the support of YSRCP MP Kakani Govardhan Reddy despite lack of clearance from district authorities, and tens of thousands of people gathered at the distribution site, violating COVID-protocols. 19. The MLA had defended this decision saying that some patients were seeing good results, on the basis of which many people had developed faith that the “treatment” worked. Officials from the state health department as well as the AYUSH department have so far claimed that the drug does not appear to have any immediate negative effects. “People are concerned that there are long-term side effects. Once it is established that there are no side effects, the distribution will continue, ”said the MP.
Experts and doctors have suggested that patients may have felt better either because of a placebo effect or because of the disease’s natural progression in their bodies. The doctor who was familiar with the condition of patients taking Anandaiah’s preparations said that apart from the possibility of chemical conjunctivitis, patients will need to be monitored more for any long-term side effects.
On May 24, AYUSH State Commissioner Ramulu N said the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Studies is conducting a comprehensive test of the herbal remedy by giving it to at least 500 people. “It is necessary to know if the herbal preparations prepared by Anandaiah caused any adverse health effects and a report on this matter could come in about a week,” he said.
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