Not a single person living inside the Isha Yoga Center, including foreigners, has been reported with any symptoms of COVID-19 and none of them are in quarantine, Coimbatore Collector K Rajamani has said after the district administration and health authorities screened all those staying at the Center.
“Currently, there are around 300 foreigners at the Isha Yoga Center, and about 50 percent of them have been staying there since before January,” the Collector said while speaking to the media persons on Sunday.
Things heated up on Twitter on Sunday after Congress leader Salman Nizami tweeted a misleading statement saying 150 foreigners are under quarantine at Isha Yoga Center. In a terse response to the leader, the Foundation asked him to do his homework.
“@SalmanNizami_ your irresponsible statement without basic fact-checking is highly inappropriate in this time of crisis,” Isha Foundation wrote.
The Foundation also urged the Tamil Nadu Police and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to take stringent action against “such people spreading misinformation and aiming to disturb communal harmony.”
This prompted the Congress leader to delete his tweet. Srivatsa, another Congressman from Karnataka, also took potshots at spiritual leader Sadhguru and tweeted that “rich foreigners are in quarantine at Isha Foundation!”
Responding to Srivatsa, Isha Foundation tweeted, “For your information, no one is in quarantine at the Isha Yoga Center. This is clarified by the District Collector, and he has also clearly stated that there are no reports of COVID-19 symptoms at the Center. Don’t spread misinformation. It’s irresponsible.”
Isha Foundation, in a statement, also strongly condemned fake news being circulated online and requested the government to take strong action against those spreading rumors against the organization.
“Not a single person within the Isha Yoga Center has been reported with COVID-19 symptoms. This has been verified by State Health Officials and the health status of each and every individual within the premises is being stringently monitored with a highly regular system of screenings,” the statement read.
1/3 Kindly do some homework before tweeting. Lockdown maybe a good time to introspect.
1. After 50 days since Mahashivaratri, NO Corona symptoms reported at Isha Yoga Center. This is confirmed by Dist. Collector of Coimbatore…1/3@MIB_India https://t.co/5Moyjg6XNM
— Isha Foundation (@ishafoundation) April 12, 2020
It further added, “Isha Yoga Center which receives several international visitors had moved swiftly to put directives in place even before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and much before the central and state governments announced lockdowns and imposed travel bans.”
“Isha took all active steps to respond to the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus much ahead of Mahashivratri event that took place on February 21. In line with the government advisory and keeping the interest of public health supreme, registrations of visitors from any of the affected areas – China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore or Thailand and other COVID-19 affected areas – were not accepted for the mega event. Even people who had been to the COVID-19 affected countries including transits and airport layovers, were requested not to visit the Yoga Center.”
“Isha has been following mandatory screening and physical distancing protocols ever since. Other foreign nationals who visited the Center were requested to observe a mandatory 28-day quarantine period.”
“Residents and volunteers who are used to Isha’s rigorous adherence to health and hygiene protocols even in normal times, are now undergoing mandatory screening every two days. The protocols also apply to security, housekeeping and other ground staff who reside at the Yoga Center.”
“State health officials who have been visiting the Yoga Center to conduct screenings and checks since February have found no COVID-19 positive cases,” Isha Foundation said.