India promotes yoga to combat coronavirus

India has decided to promote yoga as an effective way to counter the coronavirus pandemic, which has left India reeling form its bite. The PM asked the country to observe international yoga day at home, and stressed upon the importance of yoga in the fight against coronavirus, even as experts rubbished the effectiveness of 'alternative treatments'.

India promotes yoga

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extolled yoga as a way of building a “protective shield” of immunity against the coronavirus, as his nation battles a surge in infections. India promotes yoga as the number of coronavirus cases in the nation is surging, with a record number of cases and infections being reported daily in the country.

Modi, a keen yoga practitioner who has long espoused the benefits of the ancient Indian practice, gave the advice in a YouTube message ahead of World Yoga Day on Sunday.

India promotes yoga to boost immunity

“We all know that until now nowhere in the world have they been able to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 or coronavirus,” Modi said in the video published Thursday.

“Which is why right now, only a strong immunity can act as a protective shield or a bodyguard for us and our family members… yoga is our trusted friend in building this protective shield (of immunity).”

Modi, a keen yoga practitioner who has long espoused the benefits of the ancient Indian practice, gave the advice in a YouTube message ahead of International Yoga Day on Sunday.

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The Indian leader, a teetotal vegetarian, set up a ministry to promote yoga, Ayurveda and other traditional Indian treatments when he came to power in 2014.

Modi initially proposed World Yoga Day to the United Nations, winning approval in 2014.

The day normally see masses of people gather for public yoga events not only in India but worldwide but Modi called for people to this year “go indoors“.

India promotes yoga: exercise to alleviate stress

Modi also hailed yoga as a way to ease the extraordinary stresses people are enduring because of the virus.

“Yoga has the potential to cater to the mental, physical and psychological challenges. It puts to test how one can live in challenging times,” he said.

In January, the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy) released an advisory on how ancient homeopathy and Ayurveda remedies could help Indians combat the coronavirus.

Read more: India sees largest-ever one-day jump in coronavirus cases

But experts, including the US’ National Institutes of Health, have warned that “no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure COVID-19”.

India’s national and state governments have also stressed the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing.

The South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people is the fourth worst-hit country in the world with more than 380,000 virus infections, official figures show.

Coronavirus in India running rampant 

As of today, the number of people infected by the Novel Coronavirus and suffering from the associated disease COVID-19 in India has crossed 381,000. There have been more than 12,000 deaths associated with the disease. A statistic to take heart from is the fact that 205,000 people suffering from COVID-19 have recovered. 

Read more: India blames Tableeghi Jamaat leader for Coronavirus surge

COVID-19 associated lockdowns have caused a slowdown in the Indian economy, with experts saying that it will shrink by as much as 8% this year. Estimates do not show it recovering before 2022.

The World Bank has also sounded the alarm over the dismal economic situation that the world finds itself in, and has indicated that the slowdown forecasted in India will have global ramifications. It has asked fiscal policy makers the world over to pay special attention to the economic fallout forecasted amid the pandemic.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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