Featured image: Minister of State for AYUSH, Shripad Y. Naik. Photo: Twitter/@shripadynaik
New Delhi: Union minister Shripad Y. Naik on Wednesday said he has tested positive for COVID-19. Naik is Minister of State for AYUSH and defence.
In a tweet, Naik said he will isolate at home as he is asymptomatic. He added that his vitals are within normal limits.
I underwent Covid-19 test today & it has turned out assymptomaically positive. My vitals are within normal limits and I have opted for home isolation.
Those who have came in contact with me in last few days are advised to get tested for themselves and take required precautions.
— Shripad Y. Naik (@shripadynaik) August 12, 2020
He was, according to Twitter user @azimsherwani, recently seen distributing AYUSH kits to “boost immunity” to help at the time of the COVID-19 health crisis.
The Wire Science has not been able to independently confirm this, but has found a Goa government press release which notes that on May 19, Naik distributed what his ministry called “immunity boosting medicinal kits” to police personnel and collectorate staff at Panaji.
The kit comprised a hand sanitiser, the Ayurvedic health supplement chyawanprash, homeopathic tablets Arsenicum Album-30, and reportedly “an [additional] immunity boosting chyawanprash and powder.”
The AYUSH ministry has long been on the receiving end of criticism for peddling unproven solutions to medical problems.
Earlier in the day, on August 12, Naik presided over the “Ayush for Immunity” campaign launched by his ministry, over a video link. He has also spoken on online functions held to stress on the role of yoga and ayurveda in the current pandemic.
Late in January, the AYUSH ministry had published a dubious advisory note via the Press Information Bureau at 10:30 am on January 29 describing various homeopathic and Ayurvedic techniques to protect oneself from an infection caused by the coronavirus. Read The Wire Science‘s report on it and of the ministry’s subsequent backtracking here.