Coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 150,000 people across the globe, has forced many key Western dignitaries to switch to a different way to greet each other. It was visible during Sunday's Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
The Sunday’ debate was the first head-to-head faceoff between Biden and Sanders, as they both are vying to become the Democratic presidential nominee. As the debate opened, Biden and Sanders skipped a traditional handshake, greeting each other instead with an elbow bump. They took their positions at podiums spaced 6 feet apart in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus. This is not it, they even addressed the nation, and each other, from a television studio in Washington without an in-person audience.
But this is not the first time when Western key dignitaries ditched handshake. Following the advice of WHO people are refraining from shaking hands and hugging each other; instead, they have switched to greeting everyone with ‘Namaste.’
Earlier, President Donald Trump at a news conference greeted the visiting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar with a ‘Namaste’. Trump said, “I just got back from India, and I did not shake any hands there, and it was very easy because they go like this,” He joined his hands together to greet others. They are ahead of the curve,” he added.
On the other hand, at the annual Prince’s Trust Awards, Prince Charles was seen greeting people with a namaste at the London Palladium. Even, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Felipe VI, Spain’s king and queen with a namaste. In the meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his countrymen to greet each other by folding hands and saying ‘Namaste’ instead of shaking hands.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected most of the countries in the world. In most countries Schools were shut, travel has been significantly limited and the likely economic consequences have sent financial markets plummeting.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that Europe has become the new 'epicentre' of the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 15 lakh people with over 6,000 deaths globally. The virus had first emerged in China's Wuhan city in December last year.
(Inputs from Agencies)