FIT Fact-Check: Ex IMA President Spins PM's Message to Light Diyas

FIT Fact-Check: Ex IMA President Spins PM's Message to Light Diyas

4 min read
FIT Fact-Check: Ex IMA President Spins PM's Message to Light Diyas
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On 3 April, 9 am, on the 10th day of a nationwide lockdown to control the coronavirus spread, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and urged all Indians to switch off all lights on Sunday, 5 April at 9 pm for 9 minutes and light a candle or diya in their doorways or balconies.

“I request all of of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5 April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, 'diya', or mobile's flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” he said.

He further stressed, “I request you all, that while doing this, please do not gather anywhere in groups, be it on streets or localities. Please execute this from your doorsteps or balconies. The ‘laxmen rekha’ of social distancing cannot be crossed. This is the only solution against coronavirus. So, at 9 pm on 5 April, sit alone for a while and remember ‘maa bharti’.”.

Shortly after this video message, MyGovIndia, a government of India twitter handle, tweeted a message by Dr KK Aggarwal, ex president of the Indian Medical Association.

The tweet text read as follows, “Dr KK Agarwal, PadmaAwardee and ex President of Indian Medical Association, explains the science behind PM @NarendraModi’s request of lighting of candles/diyas/torch/flashlight at 9 pm on 5th April. #IndiaFightsCorona”

(Screen grab of the tweet)

Attached with the text was a video by Dr KK Aggarwal.

The tweet was eventually deleted.

But the video by Dr Aggarwal has gone viral.

This is what he had to say in the video message, “Modiji’s request of 5th April 9 pm, that we all for 9 mins, with one mission, pray and light diyas. This is based on Yoga Vasishta, Chapter 6, The Principle of Collective Consciousness. What 5 percent belief, 95 percent will do. A collective mass is 1 to 5 percent. This is based on the principle that in our bodies, the Ace2 receptors can be healed by our collective consciousness, based on Quantum Principal Ritambhara Pragya. If we collectively think that the coronavirus does not stick to our body’s ace 2 receptors, the collective consciousness will make sure that this will happen. Let’s all follow Modiji’s advice.”

Let’s examine Dr Aggarwal’s claims one by one:

1st, What are Ace2 Receptors that the doctor is referring to

For a virus to enter a human body, it must find a way to enter the cells. Several studies have found that the novel coronavirus uses the Ace 2 receptors as cellular entry receptor.  Researchers led by Qiang Zhou, a research fellow at Westlake University in Hangzhou, China, have revealed how the new virus attaches to a receptor on respiratory cells called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, reports Live Science. They base their report on this study published in the journal Science. This entry point has been observed in SARS-CoV-2 and the earlier SARS epidemic of 2002-3.

Other coronaviruses that exist - like common cold - use different entry points. 

2nd, What is collective consciousness?

Now, collective consciousness has been studied extensively in different texts, religions, beliefs etc including in Yoga Vasishta and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

Collective consciousness as a concept of social psychology refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that are common to average members of society. French sociologist Emilie Durkheim defined it as ‘the body of beliefs and sentiments common to the average of members of a society.’

3rd, What is Quantum Principle of Ritambhara Pragya

Ritambhara Pragya comes up as a reference in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Ritambhara translates to filled with truth and Pragya to intellect. The website ArtofLiving defines it as “There the consciousness is full of intuitive knowledge.”

Claim: Can collective consciousness prevent the coronavirus from sticking to ACE2 receptors?

“Collective consciousness is a sociological concept. It does not mean that is 1-5 percent of people strongly believe in something, then it will stop the virus from attaching to the receptors,” says Dr Sumit Ray, a critical care specialist in Delhi. He further says, as a former president of IMA, Dr Aggarwal should be “spreading awareness of the disease and how to control it’s spread. He should talk about the scientific modalities of managing these patients and the need and appropriate use of personal protected equipment based on scientific guidelines and to emphasise its importance.”

Is there a cure for coronavirus? The Prime Minister in his message to the nation said this: “The ‘laxmen rekha’ of social distancing cannot be crossed. This is the only solution against coronavirus.”

The World Health Organisation has repeatedly said there is no specific treatment for the novel coronavirus yet. It says “There is no specific treatment for disease caused by a novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment based on the patient’s clinical condition. Moreover, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.“

The WHO has also clarified that there is no vaccine for the virus yet. “When a disease is new, there is no vaccine until one is developed. It can take a number of years for a new vaccine to be developed.”

Should the Ex President of Indian Medical Association be propagating misinformation?

Dr Agarwal put together a lot of words to make a comment that seemed to indicate that collective consciousness will heal the Ace2 receptors in our body and prevent coronavirus from attaching to it. This is a dangerous proposition, even when the Prime Minister himself has repeatedly said the only means to deal with the virus is to maintain ‘social distancing.’

At a time when the medical community is at the forefront preparing and readying itself for a potential surge in cases of coronavirus, already battling acute shortage of personal protection equipment, with over 50 medics infected with COVID-19 in the country, what should the priorities of an ex president of the IMA be? FIT reached out to Dr Agarwal for a comment. This story will be updated when we have his answer.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Topics:  Quint Fit   Coronavirus 2019 

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