Kerala goes ‘Ra, Ra’ over Covishield, Covaxin

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 12, 2021

Shakes a leg to trending dance challenge

For the medical students in Kerala, it is a pleasant surprise that the Centre has approved the Russian Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine on a day when their ‘Rasputin dance challenge,’ is trending on the internet, and the State government too has taken note and did a jig of its own.

The State government to went ‘Ra, Ra’ over the #rasputinchallenge, and has deployed two Covid-19 vaccine stars Covishield and Covaxin to do a number in an 18-second video in which two vials dance to the beats of the racy Boney M song of the 70s.

Messages to public

A series of messages ‘Get vaccinated from the nearest vaccination centre’, ‘Crush the Curve,’ ‘Break the Chain’ and ‘Back to Basics’ appear interspersed in the video as the Health Department parades its celebrated Covid-19-related slogans as they evolved right from when the pandemic hit the State last year.

But the #rasputinchallenge has a subplot in that an original viral video posted by two medical students of the Government Medical College in Thrissur, who are shown executing the ‘hook step’ to the song beats, had gone on to be painted in communal colours.

This was only a trigger for the medical student fraternity in rest of the State to take to the Internet with a vengeance and flood it with their dance videos to express solidarity with the original duo. The Health Department and even the Kerala Police were only prompt to take note and happily play second fiddle.

Secular message

A neatly executed vaccine video by Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM) under the Social Justice Department headed by Health Minister KK Shailaja depicted the two vaccine vials get into the dance act as the Rasputin song played in the background with messages for the public thrown in between.

An official spokesman said the government could not afford to let go of an opportunity to spread awareness on the pandemic and on the need to get vaccinated. The effort has also had a ‘beneficial side effect’ in that the #rasputinchallenge also spawned a sentiment against spreading communalism.

Published on April 12, 2021

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