Hundreds of Hindu worshippers in India hosted a cow urine drinking party on Saturday in the belief that it will ward off cornavirus.
There is not yet a vaccine available for the virus, which is sweeping across the world and has so far infected more than 140,000 people, with more than 5,000 deaths.
But a group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) hosted the urine-drinking ‘party’ on Saturday in Delhi, the country’s capital, in the hope of shielding themselves.
It was attended by around 200 people and organisers hoped to host similar events elsewhere in India, which has seen 84 cases, with two deaths.
‘We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take bath in cow dung,’ said Om Prakash, a person who attended the party.
‘We have never felt the need to consume English medicine.’
Chakrapani Maharaj, the chief of the All India Hindu Union, posed for photographs as he placed a spoon filled with cow urine near the face of a caricature of the coronavirus.
Photos also showed groups of men and women drinking the urine from paper and ceramic cups.
Leaders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party have previously advocated the use of cow urine as medicine and a cure for cancer.
A leader from India’s north eastern state of Assam told state lawmakers earlier this month during an assembly session that cow urine and cow dung can be used to treat the coronavirus.
On Saturday, the country declared COVID-19 as a ‘notified disaster’ which would enable the country to provide assistance and spend more funds to fight the pandemic.
Ten people who had the virus have recovered fully and the health ministry said that more than 4,000 people who had contact with the confirmed cases are under surveillance.
Yesterday, the start of the Indian Premier League, the world’s most lucrative cricket competition, was postponed from March 29 until April 15 due to the pandemic.
Sports events worldwide have been upended by the deadly virus, including the Premier League, this weekend’s Formula One Australian Grand Prix as well as PGA Tour golf and NBA basketball.
‘The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation,’ the BCCI said in a statement.
The two-month Twenty20 competition is estimated to generate more than $11billion (£8.7bn) for the Indian economy and involves cricket’s top international stars like England’s Ben Stokes, Australia’s David Warner and India captain Virat Kohli.
Chinese mobile-maker Vivo paid $330million (£261m) to be the top sponsor for 2018-2022 for the league.
It involves eight franchises playing 60 matches to packed, raucous stadiums of tens of thousands of spectators – plus cheerleaders – all around India.
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