As the world is battling the novel Coronavirus that claimed thousands of lives, over 60 Sri Lanka’s most leading indigenous medical practitioners met at the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) on April 6 to immediately explore the possibilities of finding an alternative traditional medicine to cure COVID-19 pandemic through age-old ‘Hela Wedakama’ that has been practiced for many centuries in the island-nation in keeping with ‘Ayurveda’ and ‘Siddha’ systems.

The presentation was submitted by Ayurvedic practitioners, explaining how indigenous medical practices could be applied in the treatment of this deadly pandemic and other associated preventive measures, inclusive of the conduct of precautionary, curative and post -treatment phases of the indigenous practices.

The medical experts visited the centre on an invitation of the Health Ministry and Head of the NOCPCO.

The joint gesture was mooted by the Ayurvedic Medical Council at the Health and Indigenous Medicine ministry, NOCPCO and General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake, former Commander of the Army and Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority and co-chaired by Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Head of the NOCPCO and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Lt.Gen. Shavendra Silva.

Its key objective is to get the help of indigenous medical practitioners, tracing historical and ancestral roots that testify to the herbal and indigenous expertise.

Minister Wanniarachchi and the Army Chief Lt. Gen. Silva also urged the medical practitioners to find an alternative indigenous medicine at the earliest, identical to how China has now discovered.

The Army Chief assured them if there were successful attempts to cure COVID-19 , the armed forces in consultation with the Health Ministry would do everything possible to facilitate its production process.

On Wednesday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa urged political parties and the public to cooperate with the government’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic which has so far infected over 180 people in the country.

Meanwhile, 88,538 people have died worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Around 1.5 million people have been infected, of whom 329,492 have recovered.

According to Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry, 186 people have tested positive for COVID-19 to date out of which 42 have recovered and been discharged.

Other 138 patients are under observation in designated hospitals while six deaths have been reported.

The country remains under a nationwide curfew since March 20.