Hindu group touts cow urine elixir for coronavirus

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Members of All India Hindu Mahasabha serve a traditional drink with cow urine as an ingredient during a gaumutra (cow urine) party, which according to them helps in warding off coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India March 14, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Members of All India Hindu Mahasabha drink cow urine as they attend a gaumutra (cow urine) party, which according to them helps warding off coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India March 14, 2020. (REUTERS)
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A policeman stands guard next to a caricature as members of All India Hindu Mahasabha attend a gaumutra (cow urine) party, which according to them helps in warding off coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India March 14, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Members of All India Hindu Mahasabha attend a gaumutra (cow urine) party, which according to them helps in warding off coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India March 14, 2020. (REUTERS)
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A man serves panchagavya, a traditional Hindu ritual mixture made of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee, to members and supporters attending a 'gaumutra (cow urine) party' to fight against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, organised by Hindu organisation 'Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha' president Chakrapani Maharaj, in New Delhi on March 14, 2020. (AFP)
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An Indian Hindu woman, center, drinks tea made with cow urine during an event organized by a Hindu religious group to promote consumption of cow urine as a cure for the new coronavirus in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP)
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An Indian Hindu man drinks cow urine during an event organized by a Hindu religious group to promote consumption of cow urine as a cure for the new coronavirus in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 16 March 2020

Hindu group touts cow urine elixir for coronavirus

  • Members of Hindu nationalist PM Narendra Modi’s party have also claimed cow urine has medicinal qualities and can even cure cancer

NEW DELHI: Dozens of Hindu activists held a cow urine party in the Indian capital Saturday to protect themselves from the new coronavirus, as countries around the world struggle to control the deadly pandemic.
Members and supporters of All India Hindu Mahasabha staged fire rituals and drank from earthen cups to fight COVID-19 at the gathering in New Delhi dubbed a “gaumutra (cow urine) party.”
Many in the Hindu-majority nation of 1.3 billion consider cows sacred and in recent years have made several assertions about the liquid being an elixir, claims that critics have rejected as quackery.
“Whoever drinks cow urine will be cured and protected,” Hari Shankar Kumar, one of the volunteers at the event, told AFP as he served the “remedy” in brown clay cups.
Governments and scientists have said no medicine or vaccine is available to protect or cure people of the infection that has killed more than 5,400 people and infected nearly 150,000 across six continents.
Two people have died in India while more than 80 have fallen ill, and the government has ordered the closure of some land routes into the country and canceled all visas to stop the spread of the virus in the world’s second most populous country.
Members draped in saffron clothes chanted Hindu hymns at the fire ritual as devotees sang paeans for the sacred animal.
“We have gathered here and prayed for world peace and we will make an offering to the corona (virus) to calm it,” Chakrapani Maharaj, the group’s leader, told reporters before gulping down a cup of urine.
He then offered a glass to a devil-shaped caricature of the virus to “pacify” it.
He urged people to adopt the “tried and tested” practice of drinking cow urine to ward off diseases, and desist from killing animals and eating meat.
“The coronavirus is also a bacteria (virus) and cow urine is effective against all forms of bacteria that harm us,” claimed Om Prakash, a participant from the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh.
Some members of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party have also claimed cow urine has medicinal qualities and can even cure cancer.
One legislator from the party last week suggested use of the urine as well as cow dung can cure the coronavirus.
 


Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

Updated 29 March 2020

Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

  • The couple covered 42.2km by running more than 2,100 laps
  • The whole distance took them 5 hours, 9 minutes and 39 seconds

DUBAI: A South African couple who ran a marathon on the balcony of their Dubai apartment, streaming it online, plan to take the project global to help people shake off the coronavirus blues.

Collin Allin, 41, and wife Hilda covered the 42.2-kilometer distance by running more than 2,100 laps of their 20-meter long balcony from dawn on Saturday.

A stopwatch provided by the couple shows they covered the distance in five hours, nine minutes and 39 seconds.

“We did it ... #balconymarathon,” Allin said on Instagram, congratulating his wife on her first ever marathon and thanking the virtual crowd that cheered them on.

“Thank you for all the love and support for doing something silly... was great to have you all along for the ride,” he said.
The couple’s 10-year-old daughter Geena acted as race director, putting up signs marking “start” and “turn around” and providing her parents with water and snacks as well as inspirational music.

Allin said he planned to organize a “bigger, global and more inclusive run next” where people who are under lockdown but keen to stretch their legs can join for a few kilometers or more.
“This is about giving people something else to think about,” Allin told AFP. “It’s about getting people to connect, as everyone is worried about the impact of coronavirus.”
The pandemic has wiped out international sporting schedules and triggered lockdowns that have limited options for outdoor exercise in many countries, but enterprising people have found ways to fit in a workout.
Elisha Nochomovitz, a 32-year-old who lives near the French city of Toulouse, ran a marathon on his balcony which measures just seven meters.
He reportedly managed the feat in six hours and 48 minutes, nearly double his best marathon finish time.