An Indian holy man who claimed he could perform COVID-19 exorcisms by kissing people’s hands, has died from the disease after infecting 20 of his followers during the spiritual practice.
According to Times of India, the tantric man, from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, would kiss the hands of his devotees and then tell them it would make their problems go away. He also claimed that his ‘kiss-cure’ worked on Coronavirus patients even after health authorities warned that the virus can spread through contagious droplets from the mouth or nose.
Health department officials said the man contracted coronavirus himself, testing positive for the killer disease on June 3 and dying just a day later.
When officials began contact tracing, they took 40 swab samples to identify further cases. Surprisingly, twenty of the swabs returned a positive result, including from seven members of the man’s family.
Swab collector Ruchika Chouhan identified 29 more people involved in similar coronavirus ‘exorcisms’ and has since put them in quarantine.
India has so far recorded 298,283 known cases of Coronavirus and 8,498 deaths.