India bans export of potential coronavirus drug, keeps supply in country
India has banned exports of the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine. FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more.
An Indian yoga televangelist who is an ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims to have already found the cure for the new coronavirus and is offering it for sale.
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Despite official warnings from the government, yogi Baba Ramdev is promoting COVID-19 kits containing traditional ayurvedic remedies, which he hails as a miracle remedy for the infectious disease.
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While Ramdev and his company — named Patanjali Ayurved — have reportedly become corporate winners in India, their products have been fiercely criticized by those who argue for better regulation in ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurveda ministry officials say they had only given approval for the guru's kit of tablets and drops to be marketed as an immunity booster.
However, in a coronavirus-ravaged country, branding the "coronil" pills and tulsi as curative was too good of an opportunity to pass up for Patanjali Ayurved.
Now, the swami's kit is so sought after that it's selling on the black market alongside Gilead's remdesivir.
India, with a population of 1.4 billion, has the world's third-highest number of COVID-19 infections. There are currently more than 2 million confirmed cases and over 41,500 deaths. According to the FDA, there are currently no approved treatments specifically for COVID-19, although the agency has granted emergency use of some drugs that are already prescribed for other ailments.
This is not the first time that Ramdev has generated controversy. In 2009 and 2013, he claimed yoga "cured" homosexuality and invited members of the gay community to his ashram.
Despite that, Ramdev still has a captive audience and was a big part of Modi's campaign in 2014.
This week, the prime minister invited Ramdev to a private groundbreaking ceremony of a Hindu temple. Modi himself has promoted yoga and ayurveda, touting nutrition and fitness during the pandemic.