US President Donald Trump and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar exchanged a 'namaste' instead of usual handshake at the White House on Thursday amid coronavirus outbreak.
Several health officials across globe have warned everyone against handshaking and advised people to 'social distance' to protect themselves against the coronavirus.
Therefore, the two leaders chose to exchange greeting by doing a 'namaste' in their latest meet at the White House on Thursday. Varadkar, who is of Indian origin, announced a two-week shutdown across schools, colleges and other public facilities to tackle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
A reporter asked the two leaders if they shook hands, the outgoing Ireland PM joined his hands in the 'namaste' pose, showing the reporters how he greeted Trump. Trump also did 'namaste' to the reporters and said, "I just got back from India. And I did not shake any hands there. And it's very easy, because they go like this".
Trump also greeted in a Japanese way- by bowing his head. "They (India and Japan) were ahead of the curve," he added. Trump also said, "bowing and namaste gave him a strange feeling".
Meanwhile, COVID-19 has so far claimed 4,600 lives while more than 126,000 people have been infected globally. On Friday, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife Sophie Trudeau has been tested positive for COVID-19. Spain's cabinet and the royal family underwent coronavirus testing on Thursday after a minister tested positive and was quarantined. Cristiano Ronaldo has also been quarantined in Madeira for several days.
In India, on Thursday, one death due to COVID-19 was reported from Karnataka. According to government, coronavirus has infected 74 people in the country as of March 12.