Even as the coronavirus pandemic leaves experts all over the world scrambling to discover a vaccine, many claims in India have been made about how to cure and how to protect oneself from the virus. Needless to say, the claims that have come to everyone’s notice can garner one too many laughs. And to top it off, people believe it as well.
In between, politicians back home seem to be locked in a battle over who can provide the some of the most bizarre, nonsensical yet hilarious claims which were made in the past few months that suggested the possible cure and prevention from COVID-19. The most recent of these potential “wonder-cures” came from Madhya Pradesh pro tem Speaker, Rameshwar Sharma, who said on Wednesday that the eventual construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will destroy the virus for good.
“He (Lord Ram) had reincarnated for the welfare of mankind and to kill demons at that time. As soon as the construction of Ram Temple begins, the destruction of the Covid pandemic will begin too,” the BJP leader was quoted as saying. After the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the Ram Mandir last year, a government-run trust was tasked with constructing the temple. Authorities have now said that this construction could begin on August 5, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the bhoomi poojan, or ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya.
On the off-chance that that doesn’t work, however, politicians have offered a flurry of other dubious measures we can take to fight the virus. In March, days before the first nationwide lockdown was announced, the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Choubey, had said that 15 minutes of exposure to the sun every day would be sufficient to “kill coronavirus”. “The sun is hottest between 11 am and 2 pm. If we sit for 15 minutes, our Vitamin D levels will improve. It will also improve immunity and kill viruses like coronavirus,” the BJP minister was quoted as saying, much to the dismay of social media.
Weeks prior to that enlightening exchange, a minister from Assam, Suman Haripriya offered up the solution that many of us were probably expecting — that a sprinkling of gomutra and gobar had the potential to kill the virus, and purify our surroundings. At this point, it’s worth remembering that when the pandemic first struck, Prime Minister Modi had urged parliamentarians and other public officials to have faith in the medical community and refrain from offering up alternative remedies.
But this message didn’t seem to get through to Congress minister Ramesh Saxena, who stated only last month that reciting the Hanuman Chalisa 11 times could protect us from contracting coronavirus. To make matters more complicated, the former MLA also offered the exact same advice to farmers in the state who wanted to avoid a calamity. Whether any of these alternative remedies will pass muster at an official medical research institute remains to be seen. Until then, it’s probably best we stick to the basics — wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay indoors.
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