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Odisha priest beheads man in temple believing it will end coronavirus pandemic

70-year-old Sansari Ojha told the police that the goddess told him to behead the man in order to end the coronavirus pandemic

May 28, 2020 / 06:15 PM IST

Even as scientists try to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, an Odisha priest believed beheading a man was the solution to the crisis.

Odisha police arrested a 70-year-old priest for allegedly beheading a man believing that the sacrifice will end the pandemic.

“The victim, 55-year-old Saroj Kumar Pradhan, was beheaded on the temple premises on Wednesday night,” the police said, reported Hindustan Times.

When Pradhan visited the temple on Wednesday night and was bowing before the goddess, the priest struck his head with a scythe from behind.

The accused, Sansari Ojha, is a priest at Goddess Brahmani temple in Narasinhapur block in Cuttack. Ojha told the police that the goddess told him to behead the man in order to end the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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Meanwhile, Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Athagarh, Alok Ranjan Ray, said that Ojha surrendered to the police and confessed to the murder.

“During interrogation, he admitted to killing Pradhan. He claimed that the killing was ordered by the goddess,” said Ray, adding that the murder weapon has been seized by the police.

According to the police, there was a long-standing dispute between the accused and the victim regarding a mango orchard on the outskirts of the village.

As many as 67 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 1,660 in the state, a health department official said on Thursday. The number of active cases in the state now stands at 841, while 812 patients have so far recovered from the disease. Seven people have died due to COVID-19 in the state.

Follow Moneycontrol's full coverage on the coronavirus pandemic here
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first published: May 28, 2020 06:15 pm

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