On April 6, as the Covid curve began rising like a sheer wall, asked about vaccines and the need to open them up, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan was dismissive. “The aim is not to vaccinate someone who wants it,” he said, “the aim is to vaccinate those who require it the most.”
Perhaps, the Ministry of External Affairs thought a little differently. For, neither requirement nor want appeared to define the Centre’s Vaccine Maitri initiative launched January 20.
Under the programme, effectively suspended end of March, more than 6.6 crore doses of Covid vaccines — almost all Covishield — were sent to 93 countries. This stockpile is enough to support about 30 days of vaccination nationwide at last week’s inoculation rate — and at two doses, could cover the adult population of Delhi and Mumbai.
A Covid care centre has been set up within a “gaushala” at Tetoda village of Banaskantha district of North Gujarat where Covid-19 patients are being treated using Ayurvedic medicines made from cow milk and urine as well as allopathy.
Called the “Vedalakshana Panchgavya Ayurved Covid isolation centre”, it is currently treating seven Covid-19 patients from the village in Deesa taluka. “We had started this centre on May 5. Here we are giving treatment to mild Covid-19 patients using eight Ayurvedic medicines prepared from cow milk, ghee and urine. These patients had come with Covid-19 positive reports from the pathological laboratory,” said Mohan Jadhav, a trustee of Banaskantha wing of Godham Mahatirth Pathmeda. The centre has been set up Rajaram Gaushala Ashram which is a branch of Pathmeda.