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10 Mar, 2020 04:39

WATCH Indians burn massive CORONAVIRUS EFFIGY ahead of Holi spring festival

WATCH Indians burn massive CORONAVIRUS EFFIGY ahead of Holi spring festival

A towering sculpture representing the lethal Covid-19 virus was set ablaze by Indians in preparation for a religious celebration ushering in spring, as the country’s health authorities step up measures to contain the illness.

People in Mumbai gathered on Monday to torch what they dubbed the “Coronasur,” a gigantic monster-like effigy made to symbolize the virus sweeping Asia, Europe and North America. In a theatrical display ahead of the Holi festival, a jumbo-sized flaming ‘sword’ was plunged into the beast, quickly roasting it from head to toe and prompting raucous cheers from the crowd.

The ceremonial slaying of the virus comes as cases in India spike to 45, with several states reporting their first infections in the last week, prompting officials to boost containment measures across the country – in addition to burning effigies, that is.

The central government has suspended e-visas for travelers coming from new coronavirus hotspots – namely Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan – and imposed mandatory health checks at 21 airports. The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) was also ordered to begin preparing facilities for those that may require quarantine, which are expected to offer 5,400 beds. An additional 75 isolation wards will also be created by other federal agencies, according to India Today.

Regional health authorities have also scaled up screenings for the illness, with thousands of travelers in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where a number of infections have been detected, monitored for any symptoms.

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Over 3,000 Indians have been tested for the virus, the vast majority coming back negative.

To date, the novel coronavirus has spread to more than 114,000 people worldwide, killing over 4,000, most of them in mainland China, where the outbreak began. More than half of the patients have since recovered, however, leaving around 46,000 outstanding cases.

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