Indian village asks ‘corona goddess’ to rid them of virus


LUCKNOW, India, June 12 (Reuters) – Indian villagers have erected a shrine to the “corona goddess” and offer her prayers in the hope that divine intervention can banish the deadly virus.

Worshipers from the village of Shuklapur in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh have offered prayers, holy water and flowers at the bright yellow shrine where they have placed their idol of “Corona Mata”, since they erected it this week.

“Perhaps with his blessings the villagers, our village and all the others will be relieved,” a villager, named Sangeeta, said on Friday.

Worshipers applaud as they stand near the ‘Goddess Corona’ statue, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at a temple in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India on June 11 2021, in this still image from a video. ANI / REUTERS TV / VIA REUTERS

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India was hit hard by a wave of coronavirus infections in April and May, but there are signs the worst could be over.

Authorities reported 84,332 new cases on Saturday, the lowest daily tally in more than two months, according to data from the Ministry of Health. read more COVID-19 has killed 367,081 people in India, according to government data.

The prayers of the villagers of Shuklapur have not been fully answered – there are still a few cases in the district – but the numbers are also significantly lower than they were at the height of the pandemic.

Reporting by Saurabh Sharma in Lucknow Writing by Alasdair Pal Editing by Robert Birsel

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Christina A. Kroll

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