Yoga, Ayush focus in Centre’s post-Covid protocol

From starting your day with Yogasanas, breathing exercises and a spoon of Chyawanprash, the new ‘Post Covid Management Protocol’ issued by the Indian Health Ministry for patients recovering from the deadly infection, entails many Ayush medicines with immunity-boosting properties.

“After acute Covid-19 illness, recovered patients may continue to report wide variety of signs and symptoms including fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing etc. As of now there is limited evidence of post-Covid sequalae…A holistic approach is required for follow up care and well-being of all post-Covid recovering patients,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said while issuing the suggestions.

The ‘Post Covid Management Protocol’ lists three sets of instructions – at Individual level, Community level and Healthcare facility setting.

At the Individual level

The discharged patients should continue Covid appropriate behaviour (use of mask, hand & respiratory hygiene and physical distancing) and drink adequate amount of warm water.

“Take immunity promoting Ayush medicine… to be practiced and prescribed by a qualified practitioner of Ayush, daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and Meditation, breathing exercises as prescribed by treating physician, daily morning or evening walk at a comfortable pace as tolerated,” the ministry advises.

The immunity boosting Ayush medicines recommended includes Ayush Kwath (150 ml) daily, Samshamani vati (500 mg twice a day) or Giloy powder (Tinospora cordifolia) 1-3 grams with luke warm water for 15 days, Ashwagandha (500 mg twice a day; 15 days) and Amla fruit (one daily). In case of dry cough, Mulethi powder (1-3 gram) should be mixed with warm water and taken twice a day. Also have warm turmeric milk (morning/evening), gargle with salt water and take Chyawanprash (one teaspoon; 5 mg once daily in the morning) as per directions from Vaidya.

The guidelines include having an easy to digest and balanced nutritious diet, adequate sleep and rest, self-health monitoring at home (temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, pulse oximetry) and monitoring for early warning signs such as high fever, breathlessness, unexplained chest pain and focal weakness.

“If there is persistent dry cough / sore throat, do saline gargles and take steam inhalation. Cough medications should be taken on advice of medical doctor or qualified practitioner of Ayush,” the protocol reads.

The suggestions at Community level includes participation “in group sessions of Yoga, Meditation etc while taking all due precautions like physical distancing”.

In Healthcare facility setting

The first follow-up visit (physical/telephonic) should be within seven days after discharge, preferably at the hospital where he/she underwent treatment. Subsequent treatment/follow up visits may be with the nearest qualified allopathic/AYUSH practitioner/medical facility of other systems of medicine. Poly-therapy is to be avoided due to potential for unknown drug-drug interaction, which may lead to Serious Adverse Events (SAE) or Adverse Effects (AE).

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