Covid, Cupid's Step-Brother: Israel Health Ministry's Controversial Mascot Returns in New Video

The comic character first appeared in an August video but it was removed following an objection from the Chinese government

As the world is struggling to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the Israel Health Ministry decided to use a unique way to make sure that the people of the country will obey orders for preventing COVID-19.

The ministry on Sunday, September 6 has released a comical public awareness video, featuring "Covid, Cupid's step-brother"— a character that first appeared in a similar video uploaded in August but was withdrawn following a protest from the Chinese government.

Covid, Cupid’s step-brother
Covid, Cupid’s step-brother YouTube/ Ministry of Health Israel

The Unique Strategy

In the new video, the comic character "Covid" — a toga-wearing angel with a bat attached to the white dress, showcasing the possible source of the Coronavirus pathogen — is seen casually engaging in unhygienic activities to help the virus spread in public places.

In this video, the character is also rattling off one-liners that poke fun at Israelis who are not following safety instructions. "Only in Israel do they think you catch it via your chin," the comic character says, addressing those who wear masks below their nose and mouth.

In Israel, authorities have reported over 131,000 Coronavirus cases as of Monday, September 7. As part of the national campaign to control the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the country, the health ministry has urged the public to follow social distancing and hygiene.

China Finds Virus Mascot Offensive

Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister of Israel several times, has warned the public that following the instructions is a key element in avoiding another nationwide lockdown that was applied earlier this year.

But to attract more citizens, the ministry published its first humorous advertisement with "Covid, Cupid's step-brother" in August. The authorities had to remove it after Beijing made a complaint about it. In that video, the comic character addresses himself as "Made in China," and says that "But do I work properly or what?"

After the video came out, the Chinese embassy in Israel registered a complaint. The officials asked the Israel Health Ministry to remove the ad from its Facebook page, but it is still available on YouTube and elsewhere.

Over the years, Israel has been trying to expand the trade with China and currently, the country is in good ties with Beijing. But in recent months, the Middle East nation has faced pressure from the U.S. to scale down its trade ties, as the tension between Washington and China has escalated during the pandemic.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister on Sunday announced an overnight curfew on some 40 cities and towns hit hard by the virus. As reported, the curfew will go into effect from Monday night from 7 pm to 5 am on Tuesday.

Related topics : Coronavirus