New Delhi: A disturbing trend has emerged in the United States wherein college students in Alabama have been organising ‘Coronavirus Parties’ at which people who have tested positive are invited along with uninfected people and the first person to catch the virus receives a payout from the ticket sales.
A CNN report detailed how Tuscaloosa, a city in western Alabama, has become a victim to this trend. Citing Fire Chief Randy Smith, City Council member Sonya McKinstry said, “The parties are being held in Tuscaloosa, and infected people are urged to attend so others can intentionally contract the virus.”
“We thought that was kind of a rumour at first. We did some research, not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information,” she added.
McKinstry added that over the past few days, there have been several such parties in and around the city and perhaps many more that the officials are not aware of.
“It makes me furious,” McKinstry reportedly said. “Furious at the fact that something that is so serious and deadly is being taken for granted. Not only is it irresponsible, but you could contract the virus and take it home to your parents or grandparents.”
The city recently passed an ordinance mandating masks in public and is working on getting the word out regarding keeping such parties down. Instances of coronavirus parties were reported earlier as well in Washington’s Walla Walla County where at least two people tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party that had around 20 people in attendance. While Seattle was a hotspot when the pandemic first hit the country, Walla Walla county is on the other side of the state.
As of 3 July, the US has recorded 28,37,189 coronavirus cases and 13,14, 85 deaths while the state of Alabama has recorded 40,111 cases with 985 deaths.
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