An Indian couple from the city of Raipur has decided to call their twin children “Corona” and “Covid,” arguing that to them the names symbolize triumph over hardship.
According to the Times of India, Preeti Verma, 27, gave birth on the night of March 26 at the height of nationwide lockdown imposed in response to the Chinese coronavirus. The couple said that they took the decision in order to “make the day memorable.”
“The delivery happened after facing several difficulties and therefore, me and my husband wanted to make the day memorable,” said Verma. “Indeed the virus is dangerous and life-threatening but its outbreak made people focus on sanitation, hygiene, and inculcate other good habits. Thus, we thought about these names.”
“When the hospital staff also started calling the babies as Corona and Covid, we finally decided to name them after the pandemic,” she continued. However, they also admitted that she might choose to change the names at a later date.
The mother also provided details of her delivery at the Dr. BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Jaipur.
“On the late night of March 26th, I suddenly experienced severe labor pain and somehow my husband arranged an ambulance operated under 102 Mahtari Express service,” she said. “As no vehicular movement was allowed on roads due to the lockdown, we were stopped by police at various places but they let us go after noticing my condition.”
“I was wondering what would happen in the hospital as it was midnight, but fortunately doctors and other staff were very cooperative,” she added. “Our relatives, who wanted to reach the hospital, could not make it as bus and train services were stopped due to the lockdown.”
The hospital’s public relations office, Shubhra Singh, said the mother and her newborns were soon discharged and in good health.
“Within 45 minutes of their arrival, the delivery was done successfully,” he said.
India has been in quarantine since March 21 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown, the largest measures of its kind worldwide. The decision has already led to major unrest around the country. In the capital of New Delhi, thousands of desperate daily-wage workers crowded the streets last week in an attempt to reach villages and rural areas in an effort to find jobs and income.
Troubling footage from around the country has also circulated across social media of security forces physically assaulting those found violating lockdown measures, beating them with sticks or humiliating them by making them perform squats, sit-ups, and push-ups.
As of Friday afternoon, Indian health authorities had recorded 2,567 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, from which 72 people have died and a further 100 have made a full recovery. Given its population of around 1.3 billion people, this makes India relatively one of the countries least affected by the pandemic worldwide.