The UK unit of ISKCON has reported 21 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Photo | Facebook ISKCON US
The UK unit of ISKCON has reported 21 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Photo | Facebook ISKCON US
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New Delhi: As the entire world battles the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 1.3 million people globally and resulted in over 74,000 deaths, the ISKCON community in the UK has also been hit due to the virus.

The United Kingdom unit of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which has over 15,000 members, has reported 21 confirmed cases in the Greater London area, while five devotees died due to the virus.

An ISKCON devotee for over three decades, Rameshvara Das, in his mid-seventies, was among those who died recently. Another devotee Dhananjaya Das, one of the first to join ISKCON in the UK, has been hospitalised due to Covid-19, while many others are in a critical condition.

Praghosa Das, the chair of the Governing Body Commission of UK, said, “Our hearts go out to everyone on the planet who has been affected by this virus.”


Also read: Tablighi Jamaat will have to change its ways in post-Covid world order


Spread of the virus 

It has been alleged that the virus spread among the devotees when 1,000 of them gathered for the funeral of another devotee on 12 March.

According to Praghosa, there were no restrictions in place in the United Kingdom at the time. ISKCON shut all its temples in the UK on 16 March, a week before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown.

Praghosa, however, said, “In hindsight, I think we would all agree now that it shouldn’t have gone ahead. But it’s easy to be wise after the event. We didn’t know then what we know now.”

While 21 confirmed cases have been reported, people on social media claim more than 100 devotees could possibly be infected by Covid-19 in the UK. Even Praghosa conceded that there are likely to be more cases of Covid-19 among devotees aside from the 21 reported.

He said they should not take this lightly. “It’s not that somehow or other by chanting Hare Krishna it’s going to stop us from getting this virus – we have seen numerous cases of devotees being affected by it and sadly passing away. So we have to follow all precautions and directives from our governments. There is no question of us thinking that this is insignificant, or some kind of conspiracy theory. That would be a crazy path to follow.”

Anticipating reactions from the rest of the ISKCON community, Praghosa added, “Please do not be harsh on the devotees in the UK yatra. They didn’t deliberately do something they shouldn’t have done. They thought they were following everything they had to follow. So please wish them the best, pray for them.”

Covid-19 in United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has reported more than 51,000 cases of Covid-19 and has reported over 5,300 deaths due to the virus. Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been infected by the virus and was shifted to the intensive care unit Monday, after his symptoms worsened. He was earlier in quarantine at his residence.

Aside from the PM, even Prince Charles was infected by the virus. On 23 March, Johnson announced a lockdown in the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus and termed it a national emergency.


Also read: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to ICU, on oxygen as Covid-19 worsens


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Author using inappropriate photo for article I mean did she even ask the person if she can use that photo?!

  2. They are the ones who are feeding _millions_ of people in this time risking their lives. Kudos to ISKCON community people. More than 1.5lakh people daily food in India alone. Great job by ISKCON community. May GOD, Allah, jesus bless them with more energy.

  3. Ur hurry to draw an equivalance n dilute the delibrate Jamati crime of gathering against repeated govt advice, hostility towards serving doctors n staff n obvious attempt to disseminate disease to all Hindus even if it cost them aswell.,it all exposes ur jehadi bootlicking agenda n ur anti Hindus bias of ur coverages

  4. Ur hurry to draw an equivalance n dilute the delibrate Jamati crime of gathering against repeated govt advice, hostility towards serving doctors n staff n obvious attempt to disseminate disease to all Hindus even if it cost them aswell.,it all exposes ur jehadi bootlicking agenda n ur anti Hindus bias of ur coverages

  5. As Death is near, all devotees, involved in the murder of Srila Prabhupada, should repent an publicly confess, how they deceived sincere vaisnavas, by fake edited books, fake election of gurus, use temples as a business venture, excluding devotees, not introducing Varnasram Dharma, nil real cow protection, thus stopping all real preaching by example, requested by the Founder Acarya. Hare Krishna!

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