Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Sunday sent out a 'Stay Safe' message through his sand art at Puri beach in Odisha amid the Coronavirus threat. The Padma Shri awardee created an art of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stated 'Say yes to Namaste, Say No to Handshake.'
As the number of Coronavirus cases in India rises sharply, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 7, urged the citizens to greet with 'Namaste' instead of handshakes. He said, "The world has developed the habit of namaste to greet each other. We should also follow the same. It is better to avoid handshakes and greet everyone with namaste."
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel coronavirus has affected nearly 141 countries in the world. Presently, there are over 152,428 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of 5,720 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has soared up to around 107 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Along with it, two deaths have been reported in Kalaburagi and West Delhi respectively. India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15.
Moreover, the Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories. Earlier on Saturday, the Central Government decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster".