Ayurvedic ‘cure’ for COVID-19 draws thousands of people in Andhra Pradesh, threatens to become a super-spreader event

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday ordered scientific tests on an ayurveda medicine that is being distributed by an ayurveda practitioner in the port town of Krishnapatnam in Nellore district as a “cure” for Covid-19.The ruling YSRCP MLA, K Govardhan Reddy, who is actively promoting the ayurveda medicine in the town, which is in his assembly constituency

Medical practitioners and rationalists view Bonigi Anandaiah as just another charlatan out to fool COVID-19 patients and a gullible public, but to literally thousands of people, Bonigi Anandaiah has become a miracle man whose concoctions of herbs and spices protect them from the dreaded coronavirus and cure them of the disease.

“Several Covid-19 patients who took this ayurveda medicine showed good improvement and were cured. Bonigi Anandaiah is a renowned Ayurveda practitioner and he has found five medicinal combinations to cure Covid-19.His medicine is working, that is why there are so many people outside his house in Krishnapatnam,” said Reddy


When asked about the large crowds outside that are not following Covid protocols, he said the security personnel posted are doing their best to ensure people maintain social-distancing. However, as several health department officials and former IAS officers, including former health secretary P V Ramesh, red-flagged the large gatherings as “a recipe for Covid disaster”, the AP government jumped into action.

“Our MLA K Govardhan Reddy has been told not to promote or advertise this so-called miracle cure till the medical experts submit their reports. The CM is angry and upset over this,” an official said.

“The government has decided to send the ayurvedic medicine, which is rumoured to be a miracle cure for Covid-19, to the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) for a detailed study of its efficacy. The government has also decided to send a team of medical experts including Ayurveda doctors to Nellore to examine the formulation of the medicine,’’ the official added.

The Ayurvedic medicine is prepared with some medicinal herbs. It is prepared as both preventive and curative medicine. I had been distributing the medicine for the last one month. The rush has been increasing day by day. My son has donated around  Rs.1 lakh for preparing the medicine in the initial days. Now, people are voluntarily donating herbs and other useful material for the preparation of the medicine,’ said Bonigi Anandaiah.

Some of the ingredients used in the preparation of medicine are honey, pepper, green camphor, nutmeg, black cumin, cinnamon and leaves of some herbal plants. He along with some others have been preparing the medicine and distributing it free of cost in Krishnapatnam village.

On social media, the purported miracle cure for Covid-19, known as Krishnapatnam medicine or Krishnapatnam tonic, is viral prompting hundreds of people to queue up outside Anandaiah’s house.

Alarmed over a large gathering, and alerted by social media, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from Nellore district, asked Union Minister for Ayush Kiren Rijiju and ICMR Director Balram Bhargava to conduct a study on the medicine, and submit a report.

An ICMR team has already reached Nellore to conduct the investigation alongside an AP team. Nellore District SP has rushed a contingent of policemen to control crowds in case they turn up over the weekend.

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