Even as coronavirus continues to spread in India with over 40 confirmed cases already, Indians seem to be taking every precaution possible to fend off the deadly virus. In fact, the scare is such that people are fearing not just for themselves but also for their deities, as was seen in Varanasi.
A priest in Varanasi recently made the deities in his temple wear a mask to protect them from coronavirus, seemingly in hopes of divine intervention. He has even asked devotees to not tough the deities nin order to prevent the virus from spreading. The incident occurred in the Prahladeshwar temple in Varanasi where a mask was put on the Shiva linga.
Varanasi:The 'Shivling' at Prahladeshwar temple have been covered with a mask&posters have been put up in temple appealing devotees to not touch the idols.A devotee says,"we are urging ppl not to touch the idols.If idols are touched,#coronavirus will spread & infect more people." pic.twitter.com/c0ZTGjVtFM— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 10, 2020
Temple priest Anand Pandey told news agency ANI that the occurrence was not that unusual. He said that since coronavirus had spread across the country, the temple had put a mask on Lord Vishwanath's face to raise awareness about the disease.
"Just like we put clothes on the idols when it's cold and put the AC on when it's hot, we have put masks on the deities," Pandey said.
Requesting people to not touch the idol, the priest said that touching the idol would further spread the virus. He and other devotees were seen offering prayers wearing masks as well.
The global death toll from the new coronavirus passed 4,000 on Tuesday as China reported 17 new deaths. The toll reached 4,011 in the outbreak that has spread to over 100 countries with more than 110,000 cases of infection. In India, the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 46.