New Delhi: A self-styled godman in Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam, who reportedly “kissed” the hands of devotees to “cure” them of Covid-19 infection, ended up losing his own life, after allegedly infecting some others.
Aslam Baba had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on 3 June, and died a day later.
Speaking to ThePrint, Ratlam Superintendent of Police (SP) Gaurav Tiwari said over 50 people were contact-traced after the godman’s death and put under quarantine. Nearly 150 people in the Nayapura region, where Aslam Baba resided, were also quarantined. They are currently being screened and the area has been declared a containment zone.
Tiwari also confirmed that several people had contracted the virus after being in contact with Aslam Baba. However, he said testing was still underway and authorities were yet to ascertain how many had been infected.
According to an IANS report, the state’s health department said at least 19 people who came in contact with the “baba” tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Of babas and black magic
While the government has been working on spreading awareness about coronavirus, some people in Ratlam seemed to have turned to superstitions. Many went to Aslam Baba, who reportedly claimed he could use black magic to cure people of the infection.
As a preventive measure, SP Tiwari said, local authorities quarantined 32 ‘babas’ in the area. Their samples were taken, and results of their coronavirus tests are awaited.
After Aslam Baba tested positive, authorities planned to sue him for violating lockdown rules since many people gathered around his area when he was performing “black magic”, and for spreading fear and rumours about the coronavirus, said the police officer.
In Ratlam, 85 people have tested positive for coronavirus so far, and 44 of them have recovered while four died.
According to the state health department’s bulletin issued Wednesday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh increased to 10,049 while the death toll reached 427.
Data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shows Madhya Pradesh became the seventh state to reach the 10,000 mark.
(With inputs from Rahul Sampal)
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