Coronavirus demon effigy burned at religious festival ‘to fight killer disease’

This strange footage shows an effigy of coronavirus being set alight in front of a screaming crowd in India's biggest city Mumbai on Sunday.

In the clip, a gigantic blue demon emblazoned with “Covid 19” towers over a massive throng of people as they gather to celebrate the beginning of Holi.

The snarling demon, named “Coronasur”, attached to a stack of tried branches, is then set ablaze by a torch that is designed to look like a medical syringe.

Flames rapidly consume the demon from horns to toes – leaving nothing but a smouldering husk – while the crowd whoops and cheers ecstatically.

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Holika Dahan is a ritual that takes on the eve of Holi festival, also known as the “festival of colours”, which celebrates the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil.

Indian Express report the effigy was set alight “in an attempt to fight the disease".

Since it was shared on Twitter last night, the video of the effigy being burned has been watched more than 35,000 times.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised against mass gatherings but thousands of Indians have been taking part in Holi – a two-day festival where rainbow-coloured dust is hurled into the air and brushed over skin.

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As of today, the novel coronavirus has now infected 47 people in India but no deaths have been reported.

In the rest of the world, there have been 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in total, of which 463 are in Italy – the worst-hit country after China.

Meanwhile, Russia has been accused of orchestrating a conspiracy theory that the US invented the killer bug as a weapon against the Chinese using social media trolls.

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