West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, in an apparent attempt to downplay the coronavirus scare, said people with the “blessings of Hindu gods and goddesses” should not fear contracting the COVID-19 infection.
Ghosh was addressing a religious programme at Narayangarh in East Midnapore, where the worship of Goddess Manasa (Goddess of snakes) was going on.
Addressing the gathering, Ghosh reportedly said, “Thousands of people are praying here. They are drinking water, taking prasad. They are not even washing their hands. They are not afraid of the disease. We are taking the prasad together. Nothing will happen to us, as the Gods’ blessings are with us."
The Bengal BJP chief also said people in developed nations are not venturing out because of fear of contracting the disease. He said, “The entire world is scared of the coronavirus and millions are staying at home. Those who have conquered the whole world, reached the moon... they are scared of coming out of their homes.”
The BJP leader's comments come at a time when coronavirus has spread to more than 150 countries, with over 7,000 deaths worldwide and over 1.8 lakh confirmed cases.
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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Reacting to Ghosh's comments, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said he should realise the importance of holding the post of Bengal’s BJP chief. “Everyday, Dilip babu is becoming a laughing stock. He must realise he is the state president and MP of a political party," Chatterjee told PTI.