Hundreds of people were seen blatantly violating Covid-19 rules as they gathered in a village in India – for a horse’s funeral.
Incredible footage shows crowds with no face masks and no violation of social distancing rules as they pay their respects to a horse they considered “divine”.
The extraordinary meeting took place in Karnataka in southern India and in the middle of the country, where it was grappling with a devastating second wave of Covid-19.
The crowd, believed to consist of up to 400 people, had gathered to give the horse, which belonged to a religious organization, a proper farewell as they viewed it as a “protective deity” that they saw before the Virus protected.
The 24-year-old horse was forced to roam freely around the village for three days before dying on Sunday as locals believed it would “fend off the ongoing second wave of Covid-19”. the Times of India reports.
Locals reportedly told police that they had to gather for the final rites “to pacify the gods” before the horse died.
The Maradi village in Gokak Taluk has now been cordoned off by local authorities for 14 days while 450 tests were ordered after the event.
The same horse was made to wander through Maradi during the first wave and it was reported that not a single local case of Covid was reported at the time.
However, one case was reported after the last meeting, the news agency claims.
Manjunath Hukkeri, who donated the horse, was quoted by the Times of India says: “Over the years the animals have achieved the status of a” protective deity “.
“Elders say that even during the plague and cholera, mutt horses walked in the village to protect the residents.”
It comes as horror stories about the Covid crisis in India made international headlines in the past few weeks as it peaked at 414,188 daily infections in May.
On Tuesday, the country recorded 196,427 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest daily increase in infections since April 14.
The country’s officially reported case load since the pandemic began is now 26.95 million, while the death toll stands at 307,000.