The holy Indian man, who claimed to be able to perform "Covid exorcisms" by kissing people's hands, dies of coronavirus after he has infected 20 of his followers
- Coronavirus spreads from the mouth or nose through contagious droplets
- Nevertheless, a holy man from Madya Pradesh, India, claimed that he had a "kissing cure".
- He would kiss the hands of the devotees and tell them that it would get rid of the corona virus
- He contracted the beetle himself and died when he became one of the 8,498 victims in India
- Here's how you can help people affected by Covid-19
A holy man in India who claimed to be able to exorcise coronavirus by kissing people's hands has died of the killer bug – after he infected 20 of his followers.
The tantric man from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh kissed the hands of his followers and told them that this would free their lives from problems.
He also claimed that his "kiss-cure" worked for coronavirus patients – despite the spread of the virus through infectious droplets from the mouth or nose.
Ministry of Health officials said the man infected himself with coronavirus, tested positive for the killer bug on June 3, and died just a day later.
People are disinfected with hand disinfectants after a coronavirus relative's funeral is held in a New Delhi cemetery where a wave of infections is observed
They started tracking down those who were in contact with the man and took 40 swab samples to identify other cases.
Twenty of these swabs gave a positive result, including seven of the man's family members.
Swab collector Ruchika Chouhan warned people against believing such dangerous claims, Times of India reported amid a wave of new infections.
The health agency has identified 29 other people who have been involved in similar "exorcisms" of the coronavirus and has been quarantined since then.
India has seen 298,283 known cases of coronavirus and 8,498 deaths.
Infection has increased across the country since the lockdown was eased. Almost 10,000 new cases were reported on Thursday.
In the hardest hit cities of Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai, hospitals continue to be overcrowded with Covid 19 patients, and the infection rate is predicted to not peak before the end of next month.
India's number has reached 286,579 confirmed cases; today there are almost 10,000 new cases alone, the fifth tallest in the world
The surge comes as the government continues to reopen restaurants, shopping malls and places of worship in most parts of India after a curfew of more than two months. Subway, hotels and schools remain closed.
The actual number of infections is believed to be higher due to limited testing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government had come under fire after imposing a 10-week nationwide ban that paralyzed the economy and triggered a humanitarian crisis when unemployed migrant workers fled to their traditional villages on foot.
Government officials defended the measures as the cost of protecting 1.3 billion people in India from a devastating loss of life.
In a national television speech, Modi said the Indian victim saved the nation.
But doctors say the lock was released too soon and deaths will continue to increase.
"We're sitting on a ticking time bomb," said Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, President of the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum.
"As long as the government does not increase its health expenditure, things will not change. Many people will die, ”he said.