A day after death toll due to swine flu crossed 700, Union Minister of State for Health Shripad Naik said the Centre is sending special ayurvedic medicinal syrups to all states as part of its efforts to combat the influenza.
Naik, in charge of the newly-created AYUSH Ministry, claimed that the "situation is under control" saying that medicines are being distributed apart from setting up isolation wards in government hospitals.
"AYUSH can definitely help as ayurveda has special medicinal syrups in this regard. Already 5,000-6,000 people have received the medicine at Rajasthan. The National Institute of Ayurveda at Rajasthan has already sent batches of that medicine to different states and we have also requested them to send the same to other states," he said.
The minister was speaking on the sidelines of a day-long State and UT Ministers' conference on AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), first such event after it was carved out of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
He flagged concern on the states not sending "Utilisation Certificates" on spent funds saying such "non-compliance" was leading to allocation of funds being stopped.
"The states are supposed to send UCs but if they don't, the allocation stops which many of them are not doing," he said.
Settlement of pending UCs was one of the issues on the agenda of the Conference apart from deliberations on the National Ayush Mission among others.
The Union minister asked the states to take expeditious steps in forming separate Ayush departments or to create directorates for direct and fast implementation of the schemes of the ministry.
According to official data, as many as 12 states and UTs are yet to create separate directorates.
During the conference, the ministry also underlined that the state-level licensing authorities for Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs in many states were not in accordance with the stipulated norms and legal provisions.
"If the drug-manufacturing process is not properly regulated then the whole purpose of our efforts may be lost due to a single untoward incident," a senior official said.
Naik also announced the ministry's decision to set up a National Board for Promotion and Development of Yoga and Naturopathy on the occasion which will formulate policies and programmes related to the two sectors.
He further said that the Centre has requested the state governments to organise Yoga camps in schools and colleges on the occasion of International Yoga Day on June 21, adding that more than 11 lakh NCC cadets would perform Yoga on that day.