Doctors in India warn against using cow dung to prevent cases of Covid, saying there is no scientific evidence for the practice’s effectiveness and there is a risk of spread other diseases.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit India hard, with 22.9 million cases and nearly 250,000 deaths recorded to date. Experts, however, say the real numbers could be five to ten times higher, and people across the country are struggling to find hospital beds, oxygen or medicine. Thus, many have already died for lack of treatment.
In western India’s Gujarat state, religious people have visited cow shelters once a week to cover their bodies with dung and urine in the hope that the practice will strengthen immunity to the coronavirus or will help them recover. In Hinduism, the cow is a sacred symbol of life and the earth, and for centuries Hindus have used cow dung to clean their homes and prayer rituals, believing that feces have healing properties. and antiseptics.
“Even the doctors come here. They believe that this therapy improves immunity and that they can thus treat patients without fear, ”said Gautam Manilal Borisa, associate director of a pharmaceutical company, for whom the practice has helped him recover from Covid- 19 last year. .
He has since regularly attended Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school run by Hindu monks just across from the Indian headquarters of Zydus Cadila, a company developing a vaccine against the coronavirus.
While participants wait for the mixture of dung and urine in their bodies to dry, they hug or honor the cows in the shelter and practice yoga to increase their energy levels. The groups are then washed with milk.
Doctors and scientists in India and around the world have repeatedly warned against alternative treatments for Covid-19, saying they can lead to a false sense of security and complicate health concerns. “There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine works to increase immunity against the coronavirus, [isso] is entirely based on belief, ”said JA Jayalal, National President of the Indian Medical Association.
“There are also health risks from the release or consumption of these products. Other diseases can pass from animals to humans.” There are also concerns that the practice may contribute to the spread of the virus, as it involves people coming together in groups. Madhucharan Das, manager of another cow shelter in Ahmedabad, said they were limiting the number of participants.