While India scrambles to contain the rapidly spreading coronavirus – which has infected 166 people so far – Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Thursday claimed that spending time in the sun will help fight any kind of virus, ANI reported.
“The sun rays are the brightest from 11 am to 2 pm,” Choubey, who is the minister of state for health and family welfare, told reporters. “We all should sit in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes. Vitamin D boosts immunity and kills all kinds of viruses.”
More such practices and rituals have been suggested by politicians in recent days. Some suggested cow urine and cow dung as a cure for the disease. On Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party member Narayan Chatterjee was arrested for organising a cow urine consumption competition in Kolkata and claiming that it would protect people from contracting the novel coronavirus infection. A man had fallen ill after drinking cow urine.
The total number of coronavirus infections in the country rose to 166 on Thursday, of whom 14 have recovered, and three people have died. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Thursday at 8 pm to talk about steps being to fight the pandemic.
State governments have stepped up efforts to contain the rapidly-spreading disease – shutting down schools, colleges and public places till March 31 and forbidding large gatherings. With 42 cases, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research said it has conducted tests on 13,316 samples from 12,426 individuals for the virus till 10 am on Thursday. Among these, 168 individuals were confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases. The Union health ministry’s current testing criteria is limited to international travellers and their direct contacts.
The government has also made it mandatory for all hospitals, including government and private ones, and independent medical practitioners to notify suspected COVID-19 cases to the district authorities.