Man who claimed he could perform 'Covid exorcisms' by kissing people's hands dies of coronavirus - having infected 20

A holy man in India who claimed he could perform coronavirus exorcisms by kissing people's hands has died from the killer bug - after infecting 20 of his followers.

The tantric man, from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, would kiss the hands of his devotees and told them it would rid their lives of problems.

He also claimed his 'kiss-cure' worked on coronavirus patients - despite the virus spreading through contagious droplets from the mouth or nose.

Health department officials said the man contracted coronavirus himself, testing positive for the killer bug on 3 June and dying just a day later.

They began contact tracing those who had been in contact with the man and took 40 swab samples to identify any further cases.

Twenty of those swabs returned a positive result, including from seven members of the man's family.

Swab collector Ruchika Chouhan warned people not to believed such dangerous claims, Times of India reported, amid a wave of new infections.

The health administration identified 29 more people involved in similar coronavirus 'exorcisms' and has since put them in quarantine.

India has so far seen 298,283 known cases of coronavirus and 8,498 deaths.

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