Exclusive: Inside the market of Covid charms, mystery potions

India

As modern science struggles to deal with Covid-19 and alternative medicine promotes immunity boosters, snake-oil salesmen are at work, touting bogus remedies as fail-safe solution to the pandemic, an India Today Investigation has found.

At Kardam Puri in North-East Delhi, Hakim Kaamil offered mystery nasal drops to India Today’s investigative reporters when they met him posing as attendants of a teen showing Covid symptoms.

“Inshalla, I will give you a nasal medicine. It will work for corona. It’s a nasal drop,” Kaamil guaranteed. “If coronavirus has already infected, the drops will cure the patient.”

The quack advised two doses of the mystery drops in a day and claimed he administered this therapy to patients showing Covid symptoms at their homes.

“People who show Covid symptoms but are not sure about the diagnosis consult me. I deliver this medicine to them at their homes,” he said.

COVID TESTING AT QUACK CLINICS?

Surrounded by Covid hotspots at Mehrauli’s Shamsi Talab neighbourhood, a young man, Istikhar, not only offered treatment but also testing for Covid-19 at his own clinic.

“Will you do some testing if I bring the patient here?” asked the reporter.

“We’ll do all tests. Give him this medicine first. I’ll have the full-body tests done then,” Istikhar replied.

“Will you get the Covid-19 test done here?” the reporter probed further.

“Yes. Total testing will be done,” the quack answered.

COVID-19 CHARMS

Not just dubious therapies, some so-called faith healers are offering occult solutions to Covid.

At Delhi’s IP Extension, the head of the Sidh Bharti Baba Ka Darbar, Mahant Bhagyashree Bharti, pushed a charm called Rog Mukti Nashak Yantra as a sure-fire treatment of coronavirus.

“I’ll give you the solution in just an hour. I will tell you the method,” the occultist offered. “This is my WhatsApp number. You send me your photo with your date, time and place of birth.”

“Will this resolve coronavirus?” wondered the reporter.

“One hundred percent,” Bharti answered.

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