Dhammika Bandara, an ‘Ayurvedic practitioner’ in Kegalle, distributed a locally manufactured Ayurvedic Tonic, which he claims can cure COVID-19 patients, free of charge on Tuesday (December 08).
Large crowds were gathered near his residence in Udamagama in Hettimulla, Kegalle to obtain the Ayurveda Tonic.
The tonic distribution began following religious observances, and a quarter of a bottle of Ayurveda Tonic was distributed among the people.
Crowds were seen lining up the streets disregarding COVID-19 regulations, while personnel from Sri Lanka Police were seen making attempts to control the crowd.
“We urge people not to gather in crowds in violation of COVID-19 regulations, as such acts could put everyone at risk,” requested Dr Padmakumar Wickremesinghe, the Kegalle District Director of Health Services on Tuesday (December 08).
While emphasizing that the Ayurvedic Tonic is still at testing stages at the Ministry of Health, Dr Wickremesinghe said a definite stance on the efficacy of the said medicine could not be announced at the moment.
“The gathering of such large crowds puts the entire Kegalle district at risk, as carriers of the virus or their contacts from high-risk transmission areas may visit low-risk areas. Police and Security personnel have a great responsibility to control such crowds,” noted Dr Haritha Aluthge, the Government Medical Officers’ Association Editor.
However, Minister of Agriculture Wimal Weerawansa said the Ayurveda tonic efficacy was confirmed through several clinical trials adding more trials will continue.
“The need of the hour is to check the efficacy of the medicine and not about the background of the person who found it; whether or not he is registered as an Ayurvedic doctor, and whether or not he has obtained an Ayurvedic registration,” Minister Weerawansa emphasized.
According to Minister Weerawansa, the final stage of the clinical trials conducted at the Rajarata University concerning the Ayurvedic Tonic is expected by Sunday (December 13).
Also commenting on the matter, Joint Cabinet Spokesperson – Dr Ramesh Pathirana said the Government has a positive stance regarding the Ayurveda tonic.
“Depending on the prevailing situation, if the Ayurveda tonic provides positive results, Western medical practitioners have also agreed to provide the medicine as a temporary measure,” the Joint Cabinet Spokesperson further noted.