GUWAHATI: To the world, COVID-19 is a deadly virus that is killing people but to some in Assam, it is a “goddess”.
To seek respite from the disease after getting driven by superstitious beliefs, women in parts of the state have started performing “Corona Devi Puja”.
In Biswanath district of northern Assam, some women had flocked to the bank of a river on Saturday and performed the puja. They believed the virus would disappear from the world only if “Corona Devi” could be pleased through prayers.
“We are offering puja to Corona Maa. Once the puja gets over, a wind will blow and destroy the virus,” a woman had told journalists.
Another woman said: “We are here to pray for everyone so that the virus disappears from the world”.
Some believed COVID-19 was the creation of goddess “Shitala”. In some Indian societies, people relate the infectious diseases, such as smallpox, to Shitala and offer prayers to the goddess to get relief.
That COVID-19 is a “goddess” has been doing the rounds on social media for a while, some locals in Biswanath said. In fact, not just in Biswanath, people in some other parts of the state, including Guwahati, were said to be offering the puja.
The state’s Health Department said a series of awareness campaigns on the disease as well as social distancing norms had been conducted across the state.
Till 4 pm of Sunday, Assam recorded 2,565 cases of COVID-19, including four deaths. So far, 615 patients recovered.