As COVID-19 contionues to wreak havoc all over the world, Indians have turned to worshipping the coronavirus that causes the deadly disease, in the hopes of pacifying it.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported of Anilan Muhoortham, a builder who has converted the prayer (pooja) room of his house in Kerala, into a shrine housing the "corona" deity, among others.

Anilan conducts daily prayers for the safety and protection of frontline workers, looking at it as a "form of goddess".

"At this point when everyone fears the virus, I look at it and see a goddess within it, as per Hindu traditions that promote the concept of seeing God in every molecule around us.

"I do this for the goodness of the world that we live in," he was quoted saying.

This shrine, however, does not accept visitors, in line with the social distancing rules that need to be followed to keep the virus at bay.

This is not the first reported case of Indians worshipping the virus.

Last month, it was reported that women in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand and Assam in India had started worshipping to "Corona Mai" or "Corona Devi", pleading for it to spare lives.

The prayers involve the women digging a small pit in the field and filling it with water, before the offering of nine cloves and nine laddus are made to the "goddess" to appease her.

Women from adjoining villages flock to the session and it has gone on despite some locals' pleas to the authorities to put an end to the superstition.

Besides the cloves and laddus, other offerings, such as sindoor, flowers and water in pots, are also given to "Corona Mai".

The prayer session also involves sitting around a tree and singing prayer songs as offering - minus the social distancing.

Many women interviewed by local news outlets said that they turned to worship after science failed to contain the spread of the pandemic.

India is the world's third worst-affected country from the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than one million infections and over 25,000 deaths, to date.

Source: South China Morning Post,
Photo source: SCMP,