Bizarre moment Sri Lankan politician bites into raw fish to prove it won't give you Covid after conspiracy frenzy
THIS is the stomach-churning moment a Sri Lankan politician chomps into a RAW fish to prove it doesn't spread coronavirus.
Former fisheries minister Dilip Wedaarachchi bizarrely bit – and ate – the dead creature in front of shocked journalists at a news conference.
He pulled the revolting stunt on Tuesday to encourage sales of fish following a slump during the coronavirus pandemic.
But his odd act was battered as a “Bear Grylls” move by unimpressed reporters, says News First in Sri Lanka.
Fish sales in the country have plummeted after a major coronavirus cluster emerged in the Central Fish Market in the outskirts of the capital last month.
Footage of the fish-eating incident shows Wedaarachchi talking to reporters in Colombo.
First, he holds the dead fish by the head, as its tail flops around in the air.
"People of this country are not eating fish," said Wedaarachchi, turning the medium-sized fish into a prop.
"Our people who are in the fisheries industry cannot sell their fish.
"I brought this fish to show you.
"I am making an appeal to the people of this country to eat this fish. Don't be afraid."
The peckish politician adds: "You will not get infected by the coronavirus".
Gesticulating with the fish, he then bites straight into its stomach, before chewing the raw morsel.
Wedaarachchi, an opposition lawmaker, served as fisheries minister until last year.
A coronavirus outbreak in the main wholesale market has led to thousands of infections as the bug has swept across the country.
Tens of thousands of tonnes of fish have been left unsold after the market was forced to close as a result.
Plus, prices plunged as people stopped buying and eating fish – a mainstay of the Sri Lankan diet.
It's not clear how many people have died of coronavirus in Sri Lanka, but according to Worldometers' latest stats, there are more than 18,000 cases, while the death toll is just 66.
You will not get infected by the coronavirus
Conspiracy theories and misinformation are fuelling mistrust in Covid vaccines, warn experts.
A handful of cranks seem to believe that the coronavirus was created in a lab by either China or the US.
Coronavirus conspiracy theorists who believe the pandemic is a hoax have marched on London, with protesters calling for an end to "government lies" over the pandemic.
And this week a conspiracy theorist NHS nurse has been suspended after calling the coronavirus pandemic a 'scamdemic' in rants posted on Facebook.
Tracey McCallum faces losing her career of more than 20 years after spreading fake news online.
She has also claimed new vaccines in development are "genocide".
It comes as hundreds of NHS workers joined an anti-vaxx Facebook group claiming the vaccine is a "poison" which will be "unleashed" on the world.
Nearly 300 NHS staff and care home workers have joined the group 'NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine,' which opposes vaccinations, wearing masks and testing in hospitals.
A worrying study of 8,000 people in the US and the UK found that fewer people would “definitely” take a Covid-19 jab than the 55 per cent of the population scientists estimate is needed to provide so-called “herd immunity”.
“Vaccines only work if people take them.
"Misinformation plays into existing anxieties and uncertainty around new (Covid) vaccines, as well as the new platforms that are being used to develop them,” said Heidi Larson, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who co-led the study.
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