Authorities in several countries have been requesting the public to refrain from showing public display of affection because of the growing fear of the spread of the Covid-19. According to the officials and epidemiologists, limiting contact can help in reducing the risk of the spread of the virus. The coronavirus has already killed several across the world and continues to spread in Europe and East Asian countries.
The officials suggest that people should think twice before going in for hugs and high fives as well as greeting families and friends with a cheek kiss. Just a few days ago a mass ceremony in the Philippines took place, where around 220 couples said 'I do' to each other and proceeded to kiss through the surgical masks they were wearing with their wedding outfit.
The newlyweds from the Philippines were tested for the infection and their travel history was also analyzed before the wedding in Bacolod coast city. All standard procedures were followed before the wedding ceremony. The mass weddings are a tradition in Bacolod. These are also common in some of the other East Asian countries like South Korea.
According to South Korea's unification church, around 30,000 people were married off in a ceremony in the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul. They were also given hand sanitizers and surgical masks during the ceremony. The suggestion of reducing any physical contact was spread throughout the news media during Valentine's day. Such precautions make sense to several people because of the rising fear of the infection.
Certain churches in Italy have stopped placing communion wafers on the tongue, instead, it is given to the churchgoers on their palms. Several churches have cancelled their services as well. Countries like India, Singapore, Russia, and Iran have asked the citizens to avoid public display of affection to reduce the risk of a possible spread of the virus.
Countries that greet each other without physical contact
Although the World Health Organisation hasn't asked the public to completely stop their greetings they have asked to maintain certain rules until the new coronavirus can be curbed. WHO requests the people to maintain less physical contact with people who display the symptom or maintain at least a metre distance while engaging in a conversation. There are various ways the virus could be spread and the authorities believe that this could be a measure to curb the spread.
This is an easier task to carry out in countries like Japan where people greet each other with a bow and physical contact is shunned. There are other countries that traditionally follow this greeting like Thailand and Laos. India is another country that greets each other by joining one's palm together instead of a shaking hand. Even in Malaysia people greet each other by placing their palm on their chest.