While the number of cases across the globe are rising, a report is doing the rounds on social media claiming that The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected and five passed away because of the spread of the coronavirus.
A report by ISKCON News claimed that their families have not officially released the names of the others, one of the deceased was Rameshvara Das, a disciple of Bhakti Charu Swami in his mid-seventies. It is believed that the virus could have spread when about 1,000 devotees gathered at the funeral of a devotee on March 12.
After report surfaced saying that 21 of its devotees were infected and five passed away, people took to Twitter and claimed that ISCKCON UK members are not being vilified like Tableeghi Jamaat members are in India.
Here’s what Twitterati had to say:
ISKCON News website quotes top ISKCON office bearer, Praghosa Das, as “clearing up” the impression, perpetuated “in some corners of the Internet, that management was irresponsible”. It blames unidentified devotees for "false" social media posts in this regard.
While the virus spread, no directives were issued against holding such events. It is said that the devotees and organisers followed all the guidelines of social distancing and sanitisation issued by the UK government.
The report says that “the dates are very important” before putting the blame on ISKCON UK, underlining, the “funeral and memorial were on the March 12 and 15. But Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, only issued the stay-at-home order on March 23.”
In India, earlier in March, Tablighi Jamaat had organised an event in Delhi's Nizamuddin area. The gathering was attended by over 1,700 to 1,800 people from both India and abroad. Out of which many of them suspected coronavirus-positive and has triggered a nationwide scare of community spread of the virus.