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Coronavirus Outbreak: Debunking superstition, social media rumours and challenging unscientific temperament need of hour


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There is a thread masquerading as the achievements of Hinduism I am posting this thread to counter all the superstitions.

The 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not going to be just a fight against the coronavirus, but also superstitions, rumors, and an unscientific temperament among many Indians that is complicating the already uphill task.

Before Modi made the announcement, a series of measures were taken to spread awareness about social distancing, scientific understanding, and the Janta curfew. But reports from far-flung parts of India — a country already divided by differences in income, education, and geography — emerged that the people were behaving in a way that contradicted the essence of this messaging.

Amid calls by state governments and medical professionals for social distancing, many Indians indulged in behavior that challenged the basic norms of public health. Soon after the news of the coronavirus, a right-wing group called Hindu Mahasabha organized a gaumutra (cow urine) party.

Hindu Mahasabha president Chakrapani Maharaj said that there would be gaumutra counters and incense sticks made of cow dung at the event to drive away the coronavirus. He also claimed the virus would not affect vegetarians and called on public figures eating meat to apologize to the virus.

Facebook pages were flooded with videos claiming the pandemic was nature's revenge on mankind for eating non-vegetarian food. The Wuhan market in China, thought to be the epicenter of the disease, was the reason cited for this.

Instead of observing precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, some performed pujas. In Agra, prayers were offered to the Yamuna river, which according to Hindu mythology is the sister of Yama, the god of death. There were also reports of a puja where an effigy of the virus was "fed" halwa puri to satiate its hunger.

Some religious preachers, in clips circulating on social media, claimed God sent the coronavirus to punish and destroy their enemies.

Soon after the outbreak Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to Muslims not to congregate in mosques. Though this appeal was received well by many, others were hostile. In many parts of the state, Muslim men took part in processions claiming this appeal was a "threat" to Islam.

One of the most egregious examples came on the day of Modi's Janta curfew. The people of India were supposed to observe a self-imposed curfew and express gratitude for health workers rising their lives by clapping and banging pots and pans. But in many parts of the nation, many took to the streets in large numbers to sing and dance, thus undoing all the benefits of the curfew.

The fight ahead isn't just against a virus, but also a part of India itself.
Standing over the still body of an intubated 5-year-old boy wearing nothing but a plastic diaper, an Iranian health care worker in a hazmat suit and mask begged the public for just one thing: Stop drinking industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus.

The boy, now blind after his parents gave him toxic methanol in the mistaken belief it protects against the virus, is just one of hundreds of victims of an epidemic inside the pandemic now gripping Iran.

Iranian media reports nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers. It comes as fake remedies spread across social media in Iran, where people remain deeply suspicious of the government after it downplayed the crisis for days before it overwhelmed the country.

Challenge to fighting coronavirus in India: 36% wash hands with soap before a meal

  • NSSO survey found only 36 per cent households use soap for handwash before a meal
  • About 26% don't use soap to wash hands after defecation
  • A Lancet study found novel coronavirus can stay alive in faecal remains for 11 days

Soap is the most potent enemy of novel coronavirus that has brought the world to its knees. Scientists have found that washing hands with soap is the most effective way for a healthy person to stay uninfected with novel coronavirus.

As some mathematical models predict an impending surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in India, the precautionary washing hands with soap could be the biggest challenge that the country faces in fight against the pandemic.

According to 76th round of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), only in 36 per cent Indian households wash their hands with soap before a meal.

This figure was arrived at on the basis of the survey that included a household in this category if majority of the household members usually washed their hands with soap. This means not everyone may not be washing their hands with soap in these homes. More than 60 per cent used only water to wash hands.

For most Indians, this way of sanitization is not a practice. For an outsider or essentially urbane population knowing Indians through books and journals which have documented Mahatma Gandhi’s untiring efforts and emphasis on cleanliness, this would come as a shock.

This is also surprising that successive governments in the past two decades have failed to take this message of cleanliness to the last person in the village. India launched Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) in 1999, which became Nirmal Bharat Abhiayan (NBA) in 2012 and the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014.

But years later, an NSSO survey finds that only 25 per cent wash their hands before a meal in rural areas and 56 per cent in urban areas.

The figures are better for practice of washing hands after defecation. Over 74 per cent wash their hands after defecation -- close to 67 per cent in rural areas and over 88 per cent in urban areas. However, the problem here with novel coronavirus is that even this minority of non-soap using population 26 per cent of all in case of defecation -- can become the hotspot of Covid-19 once the virus travels to these groups.

There is a thread masquerading as the achievements of Hinduism I am posting this thread to counter all the superstitions.

The fight ahead isn't just against a virus, but also a part of India itself (#1)

West Bengal is part of India for sure!

Debunking superstition seems selective !

Christian organisations are claiming that they are using this outbreak to “bring the gospel” to the people in China.

Are they waiting for this 'Opportunity.....?

The fight is not against Indians it is against the entire human race.

Every religion has their own agenda.

Christian Missionaries use the Coronavirus outbreak to “bring The Gospel” and convert people in Wuhan


Christian organisations are urging their missionaries to use the 'opportunity' of the coronavirus outbreak to spread the message of Jesus Christ and help build the 'Kingdom of Christ in China'.

China is reeling under a pandemic as the coronavirus outbreak has brought the Wuhan and many other cities to a standstill. As per official stats, over 500 people have died and several thousand are infected. However, unofficial sources claim that the casualties may as well run in thousands as the Chinese authorities are under-reporting it.

Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak and many other cities are under complete lockdown. Flights have been cancelled and businesses have been brought to a halt as the country faces one of the worst pandemics in recent decades.

Amidst all the chaos and confusion, one can imagine the mental condition of the people who have been living or are stranded in Wuhan. However, for some, the chaos, deaths and fear mean an ‘opportunity’.

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After Bengal it is Belgavi again a part of India!

Every life is precious under the sun and the fight is not against Indians it is against the entire human race.

A Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Malaysia has been linked to hundreds of coronavirus infections.........Credit...Jes Aznar for The New York Times

‘None of Us Have a Fear of Corona’: The Faithful at an Outbreak’s Center

A gathering of 16,000 at a Malaysian mosque became the pandemic’s largest known vector in Southeast Asia, spreading the coronavirus to half a dozen countries.


BANGKOK — The faithful prayed by the thousands, hands and faces washed at communal taps to signify their purity. They crowded around platters on the floor, scooping up coconut rice with their right hands in the traditional way. And they slept in the mosque or in tents set up in the religious compound, rows of pilgrims from nearly 30 countries, gathered in Malaysia for spiritual renewal.

Three weeks later, participants in the 16,000-strong gathering of the world’s biggest Islamic missionary movement had spread the coronavirus to half a dozen nations, creating the largest known viral vector in Southeast Asia.

More than 620 people connected to the four-day conclave have tested positive in Malaysia, prompting the country to seal its borders until the end of the month. Most of the 73 coronavirus cases in Brunei are tied to the gathering, as are 10 cases in Thailand. At least three coronavirus deaths have been linked to the event.

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The fight ahead isn't only just against a virus, but also against superstitions.

Superstitions ....yes...why selectively India........it is practiced everywhere.....every religion.

Superstitions and plots behind the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East

For a Saudi intellectual, the virus is the work of Qatar to block Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan. An ultra-Orthodox rabbi sees signs of the "coming of the Messiah" in the epidemic. Others hand out Corona beer to the faithful, asking them to drink and pray. The al-Aqsa mosque compound is disinfected, whilst the Church of the Nativity is closed.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The coronavirus emergency in the Middle East has further highlighted regional tensions amid revived many superstition and messianic theories. At a practical level, Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders are taking steps to change worshippers’ behaviour in order to counter the spread of the epidemic.

For some influential political figures in the region, Covid-19 is a weapon fuelling regional rivalries or attempts to counter the rise of rivals. Noura al-Moteari, Saudi journalist and intellectual, tweeted that the virus and its spread are an attempt by Qatar to undermine Saudi Arabia’s upcoming Expo 2020 and its Vision 2030 plan. His tweet generated thousands of comments, some positive, others negative.

In the Holy Land, Israeli rabbis, Palestinian imams and Christian leaders have been using their influence with the faithful for days, to get them to comply with preventive health instructions set by the authorities.


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