Thousands of people including Covid-19 patients had been thronging Krishnapatnam town in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district for the last one month for free "herbal medicines" against Covid-19.
Bonigi Anandayya, a self-proclaimed ayurvedic practitioner, distributed his herbal concoctions and a popular eye drop among victors.
While a section of district officials said his "medicines" promised to boost immunity against the coronavirus, there were others who claimed the treatment worked even among those suffering from breathlessness.
On Friday, the Andhra Pradesh government stopped the distribution of the so-called ayurvedic medicines. The state, however, has not taken any action against him because his "medicines have not shown any visible side-effects", according to a report by the Nellore district magistrate to the state government on May 17, News 18 reported.
The report, however, said Anandayya was not an authorized practitioner and his eye drop could have negative effects in the long run.
Anandayya said he had been selling his "medicines" for a year, benefitting even "terminally ill" peopleHealth department officials also said samples of what he distributed will be tested by a team of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country's premier scientific body. An ICMR team is likely to fly down to Nellore on Saturday.
"As soon as we found out about this, the district administration intervened and stopped the individual from distributing these medicines," Nellore district magistrate KVN Chakradhar Babu said.
Anandayya said he had been selling his "medicines" for a year, benefitting even "terminally ill" people.
He said people criticizing him should first speak to those who have got desired results.
Anandayya told reporters that he was not only confident that his medicines will be approved by authorities, but he also intended to distribute them to every district in the state.