Indian MP claims that drinking cow URINE protects her from Covid

Indian MP claims that drinking cow URINE protects her from Covid

May 18, 2021

Indian MP causes outrage by claiming that drinking cow URINE protects her from Covid days after doctors had warned people to stop covering themselves in dung

  • Pragya Thakur, an MP from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also claimed that cow urine can cure lung infections caused by Covid-19
  • Her baseless comments come just days after Indian doctors urged people not to cover themselves in cow dung and urine as a treatment for Covid
  • She made the claims at a time when India is grappling with a second wave

An Indian MP has caused outrage after she claimed that she is protected from coronavirus because she drinks cow urine every day. 

Pragya Thakur, a controversial MP from Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also claimed that the urine can cure lung infections caused by the virus. 

Her baseless comments come just days after Indian doctors urged people not to cover themselves in cow dung and urine as a treatment for Covid, saying it risks spreading the disease faster. 

She made the claims at a party gathering on Monday at a time when India is grappling with a second wave where around 4,000 people are dying every day. 

MP Thakur sparked outrage over her comments, with political figures arguing that her ‘unscientific’ claims will ‘ultimately discourage people from vaccination and invite more devastation’.

Pragya Thakur, a controversial MP from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has caused outrage after she claimed that she is protected from coronavirus because she drinks cow urine every day

MP Thakur (centre) also claimed that the urine can cure lung infections caused by the virus

People cover themselves in a mixture of cow dung and urine at a Hindu school in Gujarat state, India, believing it is an alternative cure for Covid

‘If we have desi gau mutra (urine from an indigenous cow) every day, then it cures lung infection from Covid,’ MP Thakur told a crowd. 

‘I am in deep pain but I take cow urine every day. So now, I don’t have to take any medicine against coronavirus and I don’t have coronavirus,’ she said, adding: ‘Cow urine is a life-saver.’ 

Her comments have caused outrage, with political figures slamming the ‘unscientific and illogical’ statement as ‘an insult’ to the health workers who are trying to save lives. 

Kunwar Danish Ali, an MP for the Bahujan Samaj Party, said: ‘Losing 50 more doctors yesterday to Covid-19 is so disturbing. 

‘What is more disturbing is the unscientific and illogical statement from a BJP MP that drinking cow urine saved her from Covid. 

‘This will ultimately discourage people from vaccination and invite more devastation.’

Jagan Patameedi, the TRS Party Social Media Convenor, said: ‘Someone please tell Pragya Thakur there is a life outside guashala (a protective shelter for cows in India). 

‘Statements like these are an insult to all virologists, frontline workers who are doing everything beyond their capacity to save lives.’ 

Despite MP Thakur’s claims that cow urine has protected her from coronavirus, she was admitted to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital in December last year for Covid-19 symptoms, reports NDTV. 

Two years ago, MP Thakur caused controversy among the medical community after she claimed she had cured herself of breast cancer by drinking cow urine.

But a surgeon Dr. S.S. Rajput from the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow said the MP had instead undergone a bilateral mastectomy to prevent the recurrence of cancer, reported The Hindu.

MP Thakur’s comments come after it emerged that Hindus in western Gujarat state have been visiting cow shelters once a week to douse themselves in excrement, which is then washed off with milk.

Cow dung is often used in Hindu rituals for its supposed antiseptic or therapeutic properties, but some are now turning to it as a treatment for Covid 

Believers smear themselves in a mixture of dung and urine, wait for it to dry, and then wash the mixture off using milk or buttermilk

Indian government reassures citizens 5G does not cause Covid 

The Indian government has been forced to reassure its citizens that 5G has not caused the second wave of coronavirus following a spate of conspiracy theories circulating on social media. 

Officials pointed out that there are no 5G networks in India as the country only approved 5G trials last week and they won’t start for months.

The government described the conspiracy theories as ‘baseless and false’ and urged the public not to be ‘misguided’ by the rumours.  

India’s Department of Telecommunication said in a statement: ‘Several misleading messages are being circulated on various social media platforms claiming that the second wave of coronavirus has been caused by the testing of the 5G mobile towers.

‘These messages are false and absolutely not correct… the general public is hereby informed that there is no link between 5G technology and the spread of Covid-19 and they are urged not to be misguided by the false information and rumours spread in this matter.’ 

A prominent message circulating on social media states that the radiation from cell phone towers ‘mixes with the air and makes it poisonous and that’s why people are facing difficulty in breathing and are dying’, reports Coda Story. 

They believe feces from a cow – a holy animal to Hindus – will boost their immune systems, helping to both prevent and cure Covid.

But Dr JA Jayalal, president of the Indian Medical Association, warned the ‘cure’ doesn’t work and may actually help to spread the virus as often-sick people gather in groups to undergo the treatment. 

Some Indians have turned to unproven ‘cures’ for Covid as the virus runs rampant in the country and proven treatments – such as oxygen and vaccines – run in desperately short supply.      

Earlier this month, medics in rural parts of Maharashtra state warned that patients are being brought to them with marks from hot irons held against their skin by witch doctors in an attempt to drive the virus out.

Others are coming to shelters such as Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school run by Hindu monks near Ahmedabad, to undergo cow dung ‘therapy’.

The shelter is located just across the road from the headquarters of Zydus Cadila, which is developing its own COVID-19 vaccine.

Gautam Manilal Borisa, a manager at a pharmaceuticals company and frequent visitor, insisted to reporters that bathing in cow dung had cured him of Covid when he caught the virus last year.

‘We see … even doctors come here. Their belief is that this therapy improves their immunity and they can go and tend to patients with no fear,’ he said. 

They mix both cow dung and urine – which has been used in Hindu rituals for centuries for its supposed therapeutic and antiseptic properties – and then cover their bodies in the mixture.

As participants wait for the dung and urine mixture on their bodies to dry, they hug or honour the cows at the shelter, and practice yoga to boost energy levels. 

The packs are then washed off with milk or buttermilk. 

‘There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief,’ said Dr Jayalal as he urged people not to visit such centres.

‘There are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products – other diseases can spread from the animal to humans.’  

While waiting for the dung packs to dry, devotees hug the cows or perform yoga – believing it will further boost their immunity

Devotees at a Hindu school in the city of Ahmedabad have their cow dung packs washed off using milk in the belief it will help prevent illness

A man covered in cow dung is washed with milk in the belief it will help prevent Covid, though medics warn there is no evidence to support it

A man washes cow dung off his legs after taking part in a ‘therapy’ session at a Hindu school in Ahmedabad that was designed to ward off Covid

It comes as India’s health ministry on Monday reported 281,386 coronavirus cases, dropping below 300,000 for the first time since April 21.  

But daily deaths remained about 4,000 and experts warned that the count was unreliable due to a lack of testing in rural areas, where the virus is spreading fast. 

For months now, nowhere in the world has been hit harder than India by the pandemic, as a new strain of the virus first found there fuelled a surge in infections that has risen to more than 400,000 daily.

Even with a downturn over the past few days, experts said there was no certainty that infections had peaked, with alarm growing both at home and abroad over the new more contagious B.1.617 variant taking hold.

‘There are still many parts of the country which have not yet experienced the peak, they are still going up,’ World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan was quoted as saying in the Hindu newspaper.

India’s health ministry on Monday reported 281,386 coronavirus cases, dropping below 300,000 for the first time since April 21

It comes as India registered another 4,077 deaths on Sunday, taking the total fatalities to a devastating 270,294

Indian covid sufferers are now contracting deadly ‘black fungus’ infection with spike causing a shortage of the drugs to treat it 

A growing number of current and recovered Covid-19 patients in India are contracting a deadly and rare fungal infection, doctors said on Monday.  

Mucormycosis, dubbed ‘black fungus’ by medics, is usually most aggressive in patients whose immune systems are weakened by other infections. 

‘The cases of mucormycosis infection in Covid-19 patients post-recovery is nearly four to five times than those reported before the pandemic,’ Ahmedabad-based infectious diseases specialist Atul Patel, a member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce, told AFP.   

In the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial hub Mumbai, up to 300 cases have been detected, said Khusrav Bajan, a consultant at Mumbai’s P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and a member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce.

Some 300 cases have been reported so far in four cities in Gujarat, including its largest Ahmedabad, according to data from state-run hospitals.

The western state ordered government hospitals to set up separate treatment wards for patients infected with ‘black fungus’ amid the rise in cases.

‘Mucormycosis – if uncared for – may turn fatal,’ the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the scientific agency leading the government’s response, said in a treatment chart released on Twitter.

Covid-19 sufferers more susceptible to contracting the fungal infection include those with uncontrolled diabetes, those who used steroids during their virus treatment, and those who had prolonged stays in hospital ICUs, the ICMR added.

Treatment involves surgically removing all dead and infected tissue and administering a course of anti-fungal therapy.

But Yogesh Dabholkar, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Mumbai’s DY Patil Hospital, told AFP that the drugs used to treat those infected with the fungus were expensive.

One of the treatment drugs was also running short in government hospitals due to the sudden spike, he added.

‘The mortality rate is very high… Even the few that recover, only recover with extensive and aggressive surgery,’ Bajan said.

‘This is a fast-moving infection. It can grow within two weeks… It’s a Catch-22, coming out of a virus and getting into a fungal infection. It’s really bad.’

Reporting by AFP 

Swaminathan pointed to the worryingly high national positivity rate, at about 20 per cent of tests conducted, as a sign that there could be worse to come.

‘Testing is still inadequate in a large number of states. And when you see high test positivity rates, clearly we are not testing enough. And so the absolute numbers actually don’t mean anything when they are taken just by themselves; they have to be taken in the context of how much testing is done, and test positivity rate.’

Having begun to decline last week, and new infections over the past 24 hours were put at 281,386 by the health ministry on Monday, dropping below 300,000 for the first time since April 21. The daily death count stood at 4,106.

At the current rate India’s total caseload since the epidemic struck a year ago should pass the 25 million mark in the next couple of days. Total deaths were put at 274,390.

Hospitals have had to turn patients away while mortuaries and crematoriums have been unable to cope with bodies piling up. Photographs and television images of funeral pyres burning in parking lots and corpses washing up on the banks of the Ganges river have fuelled impatience with the government’s handling of the crisis.

It is widely accepted that the official figures grossly underestimate the real impact of the epidemic, with some experts saying actual infections and deaths could be five to 10 times higher. 

Whereas the first wave of the epidemic in India, which peaked in September, was largely concentrated in urban areas, where testing was introduced faster, the second wave that erupted in February is rampaging through rural towns and villages, where about two-thirds of the country’s 1.35 billion people live, and testing in those places is sorely lacking.

‘This drop in confirmed COVID cases in India is an illusion,’ S. Vincent Rajkumar, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, said on Twitter.

‘First, due to limited testing, the total number of cases is a huge underestimate. Second, confirmed cases can only occur where you can confirm: the urban areas. Rural areas are not getting counted.’

But lockdowns in parts of the country such as Mumbai are offering a glimmer of hope for India.   

In the last week, the number of new cases plunged by nearly 70 per cent in the nation’s financial capital, home to 22 million people.

After a peak of 11,000 daily cases, the city is recording fewer than 2,000 a day. Even the capital of New Delhi is seeing signs of improvement.

But experts say the crisis is far from over in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people, with hospitals still overwhelmed and officials struggling with short supplies of oxygen and beds.

A well-enforced lockdown and vigilant authorities are being credited for Mumbai’s burgeoning success.

Even the capital of New Delhi is seeing whispers of improvement as infections slacken after weeks of tragedy and desperation playing out in overcrowded hospitals and crematoriums and on the streets.  

It is still too early to say things are improving, with Mumbai and New Delhi representing only a sliver of the overall situation.    

While lockdowns have helped limit cases in parts of the country that had been hit by an initial surge of infections in February and April, such as Maharashtra and Delhi, rural areas and some states are dealing with fresh surges.

Combating the spread in the countryside, where health infrastructure is scarce and where most Indians live, will be the biggest challenge.

‘The transmission will be slower and lower, but it can still exact a big toll,’ said K Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India. 

The government issued detailed guidelines on Sunday for monitoring COVID-19 cases with the health ministry asking villages to look out for people with flu-like illness and get them tested for COVID-19

Adding to the strain on medical facilities, the Indian government has told doctors to look out for signs of mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’ in COVID-19 patients as hospitals report a rise in cases of the rare but potentially fatal infection.

The disease, which can lead to blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood, is strongly linked to diabetes. And diabetes can in turn be exacerbated by steroids such as dexamethasone, used to treat severe COVID-19.

India’s second wave has increased calls for a nationwide lockdown and prompted a growing number of states to impose tougher restrictions, impacting businesses and the wider economy.

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