How Ramdev’s Coronil makes social media’s fight against misinformation more difficult

This article was first published in The Print.

Even as scientists around the world struggle to come up with a vaccine for the coronavirus, Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda announced this week that it has developed a ‘cure’ for Covid-19. According to Ramdev, ‘Coronil and Swasari’ medicine has shown promising results and ‘cured’ all coronavirus patients not on ventilator support who were part of the trial.

The introduction of a ‘cure’ and the resulting reaction — the Narendra Modi government’s AYUSH Ministry has asked Patanjali to stop advertising Coronil, and the Uttarakhand Ayurveda Department has said the company did not mention ‘coronavirus’ in its application seeking licence — raises an important debate on information disorder on social media platforms. And the question of what medical misinformation constitutes during times of a pandemic and otherwise.