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Covid patients can now call AYUSH Helpline for medical assistance

The Union Ministry of AYUSH has launched a helpline to assist and guide Covid-19 patients seven days a week

With a view to help those in distress due to the ongoing second surge of Covid-19, a dedicated community support helpline has been established by the Union Ministry of Ayush. The helpline will provide AYUSH-based advice, approaches and guidance for those suffering due to the Coronavirus.

The number is 14443 and it is toll-free and can be accessed pan-India from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight on all the seven days. The Interactive Voice Response helpline is currently available in Hindi and English with other Indian languages to be added soon. Capable of taking 100 calls at a time, the capacity too will be increased to keep pace with the requirement.

It may be noted that the AYUSH are among the oldest living medical systems used for healthcare and are formally recognised in India.

During the ongoing pandemic these systems have played a significantly increased role in providing relief to mildly infected Covid-19 persons through their unique approach of strengthening the immunity system.

By accessing the helpline, the caller will be guided by experts from different streams of Ayush, that is, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani and Siddha. Besides addressing their queries, the health experts will provide counselling and suggest remedies to the patients while also guiding about the Ayush facilities near them.

Considering the importance of post-recovery and rehabilitation, the experts will also suggest measures to the patients for the same.

The Ministry has been issuing guidelines consistently on different aspects of Covid-19 pandemic. Its revised guidelines for Ayurveda and Unani Practitioners has recommendations prepared after an extensive consultative process by the Empowered Committee within the Interdisciplinary Ayush Research and Development Task Force setup by the Ministry.

The document includes in a tabular format Specific Measures for Covid-19 Patients in home isolation providing details of Stage/condition; Clinical Presentation; Medicine; and Dosage for asymptomatic as well as mid Covid-19 positive patients. It also suggests dietary guidelines.

Also read: Fresh guidelines for Ayurveda and Unani Practitioners for Covid-19 released

Likewise, the Ministry’s document titled “Unani Medicine based Preventive Measures for self-care during COVID-19 Pandemic” comprehensively lists out self-care guidelines modified as per the available evidence for improving immunity.

Besides, general precautions like wearing a mask, sanitising hands and keeping social distance it goes on to recommend measures for building immunity. This includes taking Khamira Marwareed or Tiryaqe Arba; preparing Ayush Joshanda; taking decoction by boiling Behidana, Unnab and Sapistan.

Also read: Ayush Ministry’s Unani medicine for self-care during Covid-19 Pandemic

The Ministry also came out with “Siddha’s Preventive Measures for self-care during COVID-19 Pandemic”, recommending a set of self-care guidelines modified as per the available evidence for improving immunity.

The document comprehensively lists out the recommended general measures like drinking milk turmeric and pepper; doing steam inhalation with tulasi; gargling with water boiled with a pinch of salt and turmeric etc. Other sections of the guidelines include simple Siddha measures and Siddha procedures besides suggesting Siddha measures for paediatric age group.

In fact Tamil Nadu Government has announced 14 Siddha Covid Care Centres of which two have already been inaugurated.

Also read: Ayush Ministry’s Siddha Preventive Measures to tackle Covid kick-off in Tamil Nadu

Apart from these useful guidelines, two formulations AYUSH-64, an Ayurvedic formulation developed by CCRAS and Kabasura Kudineer of Siddha system has been found effective in the management of mild to moderate Covid-19 conditions. The medicines are being extensively distributed through centres to help people.

Also read: AYUSH-64, originally developed for Malaria, found useful for Covid-19

The community-wide helpline effort by the AYUSH Ministry is supported by the NGO Project StepOne.