US President Donald Trump praised India's efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic by telling people to employ a non-contact namaste greeting, a Hindustan Times report said.
Trump was meeting Ireland Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Instead of shaking hands, both of them greeted each other with a 'namaste'.
I just got back from India and I did not shake any hands there and it was very easy because they go like this,” Trump went on to say, putting his hands together in namaste. And he bowed to show how they greet in Japan.
“They are ahead of the curve,” he added.
However, if you may recall, Trump's visit to India did not only have namastes, as he claims. These two pictures from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Instagram are proof of that
Trump's statements come on the same day British economist Jim O'Neil said that the world was lucky that the virus started in China and not India.
“Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India, because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have done, that’s the good side of the Chinese model, and I think you could probably say the same about Brazil too,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that no minister of the Central Government would be travelling abroad "in the upcoming days".
Modi also urged citizens to "avoid non-essential travel" and eschew large gatherings.
"The Government is fully vigilant about the situation due to COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Across ministries and states, multiple steps have been proactively taken to ensure safety of all. These steps are wide-ranging, from suspension of Visas to augmenting healthcare capacities," the Prime Minister tweeted, urging people to "say no to panic" and "yes to precautions".
A few world leaders have already employed namaste as a greeting. The past week saw UK's Prince Charles, and France's President Emmanuel Macron greet people with a namaste.