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Watch: Iranians lick and kiss shrines amidst Coronavirus outbreak, say they are not scared of the deadly virus

A dangerous trend has emerged in Qom, a city near Tehran.

Calamity has struck Iran in the form of the Coronavirus. At least 210 are speculated to have died in the Covid-19 outbreak in the country thus far. The figure is much higher than the official figures provided by the Ministry. Most of the victims are believed to be from Iran’s capital, Tehran, and the city of Qom, where cases of Coronavirus first emerged.

Meanwhile, a dangerous trend has emerged in Qom, a city near Tehran. Pro-regime citizens of Qom are visiting religious shrines in Qom and licking them in an apparent effort to prove that there’s nothing to be concerned about. “I’m licking this I don’t care whatever happens,” a man says, “I am not scared of Coronavirus.”

“There are people who say that this shrine spreads the Coronavirus, I’m here to lick the tomb so that I can fall ill. This way, I have removed the viruses,” says another. Crowded gatherings are at the greatest risk of spreading the Coronavirus and as such, shrines could be particularly vulnerable as sites to spread the virus. However, Iran’s authorities haven’t yet shut them down yet and people licking the shrine are encouraging others to visit it.

Even children are being coerced and encouraged into kissing and licking the shrine. “Bravo to this young child for licking all the doors. He’s kissing it, licking it, He licked all the doors. We’re the ones who will get the virus and our children,” a person can be heard saying in the video shared by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and activist. Alinejad has also said that the World Health Organization needs to intervene immediately.

The head of the Fatima Masumeh shrine in Qom, meanwhile, has called upon Iranians to keep coming to the shrine, which could spell disaster for the country and also spread it to other countries. “We consider this holy shrine to be a place of healing. That means people should come here to heal from spiritual and physical diseases,” Mohammad Saeedi, who is also the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader in Qom, has said.

Earlier, only a day after Iran’s Deputy Health Minister had announced that the government has the Coronavirus outbreak under control, he tested positive for the virus. Vice-President for Women’s and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi are among several senior officials who have been infected.

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