By Reetika Wadhwa and Nishtha Das
The Madras High Court on May 30, 2020 vide its order in the case of K. Muthu Kumar Nayakar v. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ors.  has directed the State government to consider representations made to test Siddha (Indian traditional herbal medicine treatment) for treating COVID-19 or the Novel Coronavirus.
Brief facts of the case:
In the instant case, the Petitioners, members of Ayush Welfare Association, had prayed to the Hon’ble Madras High Court to direct the Respondents to issue appropriate directions to the Central Council for Research in Siddha to test the Indian Traditional Medicine Herbal Mixture (Siddha) for curing the COVID-2019.
The Petitioners have further urged the government to allow use of alternative medicines by way of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy and Naturopathy to treat COVID-19, apart from the allopathy methods commonly used
The said submission was made through a writ petition and based on the urgency of the matter, the hearing was conducted through video conferencing amidst the nationwide lockdown.
It was further urged that the government may recommend a committee to consider the above suggestion of allowing use of alternative, traditional medicines.
Submissions by the MoHFW
The respondents in the above case submitted that upon instructions that the Health Secretary of the State Government, a Technical Committee has already been constituted comprising of the experts in various fields. This Committee could look into the representations made and representations filed in this regard. The respondents further stated that the Committee would also issue appropriate Guidelines for the practitioners of the respective fields and also for common public members, in this regard.
Order by the Hon’ble Madras High Court:
- The Hon’ble High Court issued a notice returnable by four weeks, and directed that the above representations be considered by the government’s Technical Committee in the meanwhile.
- Further, the Court has also directed the state government to look into provision of hand sanitisers, soaps and masks which can be supplied at large for the public to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
The above order of the Hon’ble High Court throws light on the fact that India has an enriching traditional knowledge in the field of medicine. The use of Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy have been proven to cure significant diseases that existed in earlier times. This order is set to open new scientific researches in the field of the Indian traditional medicine. Looking at the present situation it is eagerly awaited that the result to test Siddha for treating COVID-19 comes out positive and and is discovered soon.
 W.P.Nos.7416 and 7417 of 2020