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Hindu group hosts cow urine drinking party to ward off coronavirus

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Hindu group hosts cow urine drinking party to ward off coronavirus
Dozens of Hindu activists in India hosted a cow urine-drinking party. Some members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party have claimed that cow urine and dung can prevent and cure COVID-19.
An Indian Hindu woman drinks cow urine during an event organized by a Hindu religious group to promote consumption of cow urine as a cure for the new coronavirus in New Delhi, India

The chief of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) group hosted a cow urine-drinking event on Saturday in New Delhi, hoping that the practice staves off the coronavirus.

Many Hindus consider the cow to be sacred. Some leaders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party have advocated cow urine or cow dung for its "medicinal" properties.

"We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take a bath in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine," said Om Prakash, one of the party attendees.

Read more: Coronavirus latest: Spain declares state of emergency

Suman Harpriya, a legislator in the northeastern state of Assam, told state lawmakers during an assembly session on March 2 that cow urine and cow dung could be used to treat COVID-19.

Experts have repeatedly warned that cow urine and dung, as well as certain traditional medicines, does not cure illnesses such COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, or cancer.

"There is no scientific validation that any of these traditional medicines work to prevent coronavirus," virologist and traditional medicine researcher Debprasad Chattopadhyay told Germany's Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency. "Cow dung and urine are waste material, there is no test that validates or proves they are good for us," he said.

Read more: What you need to know about the coronavirus

COVID-19 currently has no known scientific cure and governments worldwide are struggling to contain the rapid spread of the pandemic which has so far killed over 5,000 people.

Racist propaganda

Chief of the All India Hindu Union Chakrapani Maharaj posed for photographs during Saturday's party as he placed a spoon full of cow urine near the face of a caricature of the coronavirus.

Maharaj's political party was established to protect the rights of India's Hindu community and safeguard the Hindu religion.

Photographs of the event have circulated on online media in India. One photograph showed a party attendee pouring urine into a cup, right next to a poster depicting the coronavirus as an angry fire-breathing half-man-half-monster pursuing Chinese people who are photoshopped eating various animal meats and saying the words, "Save us corona!"

An Indian Hindu man pours cow urine in a cup during an event organized by a Hindu religious group to promote consumption of cow urine as a cure for the new coronavirus in New Delhi, India

Many in the Hindu-majority nation of 1.3 billion consider cows sacred and in recent years have made several assertions about the liquid being an elixir
'Cow dung or yoga'

The spread of the coronavirus in India has triggered numerous controversial health benefit claims, particularly surrounding traditional medicines such as plant and mineral extracts and yoga. One example is the belief that applying two drops of sesame oil into the nostrils each day can ward off the coronavirus.

Baba Ramdev, one of India's most famous yoga masters, said on February 22 that "if you practice yoga, your immunity increases which can help save a person in case they are infected with the virus. If immunity is low, the person cannot be saved."

The federal government's Ayush Ministry, which oversees the country's traditional medicine systems, issued an advisory on January 29 concerning Ayurveda remedies and unani practices (alternative medicines) and homeopathy.

"Making random claims around treatment or prevention of the coronavirus through cow dung or yoga is irresponsible, whether it comes from the government or anyone else," said Anant Bhan, a researcher in bioethics and global health.

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mvb/jlw (Reuters, dpa)

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It's very common in India, though unbelievable for foreigners.

Vlogger Karl Rock tries to drink cow pee in India.

Indian Politician Feeds Cow Urine to COVID Patient on Ventilator
By Courtney Brogle On 4/26/21 at 11:10 AM EDT
Viewers online were horrified to see viral footage of a man allegedly pouring cow urine into the mouth of a woman with a ventilator suffering from COVID-19.

According to ABP Live, the shocking video was initially posted on Twitter by Surat General Secretary Kishor Bindal of India's Bharatiya Janata Party last week. The video was subsequently deleted after it amassed nearly 80,000 views but was later uploaded to Reddit.

In the video, an unidentified man holding a bottle filled with yellow liquid is standing over an older woman struggling to breathe on a ventilator. The man then begins to pour the liquid into her mouth. He also tries to speak to her, but due to the noise from nearby hospital equipment, it is not clear what he says.

The yellow liquid is believed to be "Gau Mutra," otherwise known as cow urine. According to a report from Reuters, some radical Hindu groups like the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha have turned to cow urine in an effort to ward off COVID.

While the group claimed to "have never felt the need to consume English medicine" in the report, experts reported there is no evidence that cow urine can effectively treat or cure illnesses like cancer or COVID.

Indian reporter Deepu Sebastian Edmond tweeted about the incident on Friday. "What is this alleged [Bharatiya Janata Party] worker making a Covid patient, hooked up to a ventilator, drink?!" he asked.

He also attached a screenshot of Bindal's deleted tweet, which was captioned in Gujarati. In English, he essentially stated that a fellow member of the Bharatiya Janata Party was seen helping a COVID patient.

International viewers expressed shock similar to Edmond's after watching the video. Many on Reddit feared that, with the breathing tube connected to the patient through her mouth, she could potentially aspirate on the liquid.

"WTF? How can this be allowed in a place where science is practiced?" one Redditor wrote. "There's so much wrong here. That's just going straight into her lungs. Why did the hospital let him do that??" another added.

However, not all viewers were convinced that the unidentified liquid was indeed cow urine. Manish Agrawal responded to Edmond on Twitter noting that it could be a "mucolytic drug" turned a yellow-orange color once the colored tablet dissolved in water.

"It works by thinning the phlegm which makes it easier to cough, it clears the airways and makes it easier to breathe," Agrawal explained.

Another anonymous user hypothesized that it could be "ganga jal," or "holy water," that may have been colored with either medicine or food dye.

Neither Bindal nor the Bharatiya Janata Party has released a statement on the video. It was also not immediately clear if the unidentified patient in question required additional hospital care after she was seemingly force-fed the alleged cow urine.

This is the latest COVID patient care scandal India has faced this month. Last week, a heartbroken family received not one, but two false alarms that their COVID-positive father had passed away, before being told later that he was still alive and on a ventilator.

Ventilator

Many online allege that a man associated with his local political sector fed a woman dying of COVID-19 cow urine in a shocking viral video. MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images
 

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US Customs to Indian Travellers: Don’t Carry Cow Dung in Your Luggage
The Wire Staff

The cow dung cakes found in a suitcase that arrived on an Air India flight at the Dulles Washington airport in the US. Photo: US Customs and Border Protection

New Delhi: After discovering cow dung cakes in the baggage of a passenger from India at an international airport in the suburb of Washington DC, the US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) agency has asked travellers not to transport the waste product.

In a press release, the USCBP said that cow dung cakes from India are prohibited in the US as they are considered to be potential carriers of the highly contagious Foot and Mouth Disease that affects hoofed animals.

The cow dung cakes were found in a suitcase that was left behind after passengers from an Air India flight cleared CBP’s inspection station on April 4.

“That is not a typo. CBP agriculture specialists found two cow dung cakes in a suitcase that was left behind after passengers from an Air India flight cleared CBP’s inspection station on April 4,” a media release said on May 10.

Though the press release did not contain any information on why the cow dung cakes were being transported, news reports suggested that it may have been due to the false belief that dung offers protection against COVID-19. In India, doctors recently had to issue a warning against the practice of using cow dung in the belief it will ward off COVID-19, saying there is no scientific evidence for its effectiveness and that it risks spreading other diseases.

“Foot and mouth disease [FMD] is one of the animal diseases that livestock owners dread most, has grave economic consequences, and it is a critical threat focus of Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture protection mission,” said Keith Fleming, acting director of field operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office.

FMD causes illness in cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, and other animals with divided hooves. It does not affect horses, dogs, or cats, according to the US’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

FMD is a worldwide concern as it can spread quickly and cause significant economic losses to farmers. A single detection of a case of FMD will likely stop international livestock trade completely until authorities can eradicate the disease threat.

The US eradicated the disease in its livestock populations in 1929.

The CBP release said that though cow dung is reported to be a vital energy and cooking source in some parts of the world and is also reportedly used as a skin detoxifier, an antimicrobial and as fertilizer, it is prohibited in the US.

“Despite these alleged benefits, cow dung from India is prohibited due to the potential introduction of Foot and Mouth Disease,” the CBP said.

According to Vice News, sales of cow dung cakes have been rising steadily in the US, with supermarkets such as Walmart and e-commerce stores such as Amazon selling them.
 

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