Close on the heels of outrage after a shocking incident in Uttar Pradesh, where a group of migrant workers were sprayed with bleach amid the coronavirus pandemic, a video surfaced on social media of officials spraying a liquid on bikers at a check post on the Kerala-Karnataka border to "disinfect" them. However, the Kerala fire department claimed that the spray they used was a mixture of soap and water.
"Over a week ago when fears of COVID-19 were building up, some forest and police personnel on the Kerala-Karnataka border sought the help of local Fire and Rescue Services personnel to disinfect the area. Since soap was believed to be a good defence against the virus, it was sprayed on some people. But then we immediately instructed all units to ask people to use soap or sanitiser themselves and practise good hygiene," A. Hemachandran, Director General of Police, Fire and Rescue Services, told The Hindu.
"It was just one incident," he added.
Sharing the video Twitter, the Bharatiya Janata Party's national spokesperson Amit Malviya had said, "This is Kerala, where agencies are mass 'spraying' people crossing borders. But all the outrage is reserved for UP, because a saffron clad monk of the BJP is the Chief Minister and is doing a good job!"