Despite the coronavirus scare, Shaheen Bagh protestors who are on a sit-in agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for the past 97 days have decided to go unabated about their business with some modifications, reported News18.
A protestor by the name of Rizvana said, “Washing hands regularly is part of our lifestyle. We offer namaz five times a day and we wash our hands every time”, suggesting how she was safe from COVID-19 despite being a part of a mass gathering.
In complete disregard to the “Janata Curfew” recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday to highlight the significance of home quarantine in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, another protestor was quoted as saying, “On Sunday, we will sit under small tents. Only two women will sit under each tent and maintain a distance of more than a metre between them.”
Women above the age of 70 years had been barred from participating in the protests. Similar restrictions had been placed on children below the age of 10 years. It is important to remember that earlier the death of a 2-month-old infant who was regularly exposed to the cold weather could not deter the protestors from taking children to such protests. When the child died, one protestor was quoted as saying, “Allah ki bachchi thi, Allah ne bula liya ( She was Allah’s child and she has gone back to Allah).”
Mattresses had been replaced by cots and no loudspeakers would be used for making announcements. Tasser Ahmed, one of the key organisers of Shaheen Bagh protests, has said that the protest site was being disinfected regularly.
In a viral video, one of the Shaheen Bagh protestors could be heard arguing how coronavirus can also happen to those who travel in the metro but no one is asking them to stop. However, everyone wants Shaheen Bagh protests to end. They believe that coronavirus is a ploy by Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to get them to end the protests.
In another video, however, one of the protesters could be heard dismissing the looming threat of coronavirus by claiming that Corona emerged from the Quran. Several protestors do not think that the pandemic is a threat because the Anti-CAA protests are supposedly a ‘call from Allah‘.
Earlier, one of the organisers of the anti-CAA protests in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri had shown symptoms of the COVID-19 and underwent tests after he met his sister, who was earlier tested positive. His sister had returned from the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on 11th March. The 35-year-old protestor said he had been to the anti-CAA protest site in Delhi “a couple of times” after meeting his sister on 13 March.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has confirmed that the novel Coronavirus cases in India have climbed to 206 on Friday. ICMR said in its report that a total of 14,376 samples have been tested from 13,486 individuals for testing the presence of SARS-CoV2 as on March 20, 2020. Finally, 206 people are found positive of COVID-19 novel coronavirus among suspected cases and those who were in contacts of known positive cases.