In February, as COVID-19 first made its presence felt in India, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale had taken it upon himself to tell the virus to go away. Now, nearly a year later, it would seem that it is finally taking heed.
For the less updated among us, allow us to jog your memory. In February 2020, videos of Ramdas Athawale chanting "Corona go...go corona" had gone viral. For some time, many others had also taken up the strange battle cry, and from prayer meets to viral videos of the 9 Baje 9 minute' initiative - "Go Corona Go" was a popular catchphrase. A follow up slogan by the Union Minister had offered a slightly different variation. "Go Corona, Go Corona, No Corona, No Corona," he proclaimed in April.
In comments that have now gone viral, the Union Minister reminded journalists on Monday about his catchphrase. "COVID-19 vaccine will be available in a month or two. I gave the slogan 'corona go' on 20th February and now the cases are subsiding. It will remain for 6-7 months, ultimately it will have to go away," Ramdas Athawale said.
While he did not elaborate on how his chant was linked to the dropping case rate, we are compelled to assume that he was implying a co-relation between the two.
Incidentally, Athawale has also had a first hand encounter with the virus in recent weeks. At the end of October, he had been admitted to Bombay Hospital as a precautionary measure after testing positive for COVID-19. He has since made a recovery.
(With inputs from agencies)