An Indian politician, Sukhbir Jaunapuria, who posted a video sitting in a pool of mud with a conch shell in order to supposedly ward off coronavirus, tested positive for the disease on September 14.
According to local media reports, on Monday, he was one of the 24 Members of Parliament (MPs) who tested positive for COVID-19.
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A month prior to the results, the MP from Tonk–Sawai Madhopur constituency in Rajasthan uploaded a video on his Facebook page.
In the video, Jaunapuria was seen sitting in a muddy field, with a conch shell in his hand.
The member of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) then claimed that blowing a conch shell and bathing in the mud will enhance his lung capacity and being close to Nature will save him from getting infected by coronavirus.
“Go out, get wet in the rain, sit in the dirt, work on the farm, blow a conch … and eat ‘desi’ things. One gains immunity from doing these things,” Jaunapuria was heard saying in the clip.
As the news of Jaunapuria testing positive for COVID-19 surfaced online, many social media users trolled him. Tweep @PremanandAlok wrote: “Thanks, BJP MP from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria for proving that mud pack, blowing of the conch shell does not boost immunity against coronavirus.”
While what Jaunapuria said gained attention online, he was not the first politician to give unproven advice on how to prevent COVID-19.
Recently, a minister from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Imarti Devi, said she believes that she is immune to the infection because she was born in cow dung and mud. The comment was reportedly made during a confrontation with the media on September 3, and it was being widely shared online.
In July, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had promoted a papad (a thin fried cracker made from lentils) brand ‘Bhabiji papad’ claiming that the it is made from ingredients that help in building antibodies against COVID-19. He later tested positive for the disease.