Ramdev retracts his allopathy comment after Harsh Vardhan’s rap

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Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan asked Baba Ramdev, the founder of Patanjali Ayurved, to “fully withdraw” his “objectionable and unfortunate remark” against allopathy in relation to Covid care in a strongly worded letter on Sunday, saying it could “break the morale of doctors and weaken our battle against the pandemic.”

The letter was posted on Twitter by the Union Minister, who tagged Ramdev. Ramdev replied to the tweet with his own letter late Sunday, in which he said that he “withdraws” his comment. “We have also saved many lives during the pandemic by using ayurveda and yoga; this, too, should be respected,” Ramdev wrote.

The exchange comes a day after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) filed a complaint against Ramdev under the Epidemic Diseases Act, accusing him of making a “vitriolic claim” against modern medicine.

The IMA had objected to Harsh Vardhan sharing the stage with Ramdev during the launch of Patanjali’s Coronil product in February. Patanjali Ayurved announced on February 19 that the tablet had been certified by the Ayush Ministry as a medication promoting Covid care under the WHO’s certification scheme. The qualification was issued by the Centre and WHO does “not approve or disapprove any drugs”, it was later explained.

Harsh Vardhan wrote on Sunday, in response to alleged comments from a recent Ramdev video posted on social media, that “calling the allopathy treatment for Corona tamasha (farce), bekaar (worthless), and diwaliya (lame duck) is unfortunate.”

He wrote that “people are highly angry about your remarks on allopathy and physicians,” and that “it is extremely unfortunate that you said that lakhs of people have died as a result of allopathy medicine”.

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