Will Trump do Namaste or shake hands with Modi?

New Delhi: As India readies for ‘Namaste Trump’ to match the ‘Howdy Modi!’ cheer, the top brass at the billion dollar companies have adopted the Indian way of greeting at their flagship conferences, business meets and local events — shunning handshakes which has been the most basic form of business etiquette as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 continues to spread.

At a recently held tech event in the US, the senior executives — from CEOs and Vice Chairmen to country managers — were seen greeting people with ‘Namaste’ rather than shaking hands to reduce chances of virus transmission via touch.

The organisers of the now-cancelled Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona had proposed ‘No Handshake Policy’ owing to the fear of the spreading of coronavirus.

From the World Health Organization (WHO) to the neighbourhood doctor, the emphasis is on keeping your hands virus-free. 

“When we sneeze, the droplets transfer to the hands which increases the chance of spreading the virus to other living beings. It is a highly communicable disease and it is strongly recommended not to shake hands,” Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, respiratory medicine, at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals told IANS.

“However, any gesture of respect/acknowledgement like Namaste or bowing down is fine as long as you are not touching anyone,” Chawla added.

Doctors advise frequently and thoroughly clean hands using alcohol-based soap and hand sanitizers.

According to Charu Goel Sachdeva, consultant, internal medicine, Manipal Hospitals in Dwarka, Namaste is a better option to avoid coronavirus because there would be no hand touching.

“Namaste seems like a better way to greet than to shake hands. We also ask people to avoid sharing handkerchiefs and towels to prevent the spread of the disease,” said Sachdeva.

By the end of Sunday, a total of 1,770 people had died of the virus and 70,548 confirmed cases of infection had been reported on the Chinese mainland.

“Wear a three-ply surgical mask. Cover your mouth with a tissue and discard it properly. In case a tissue is unavailable, cover your mouth with your elbow,” said Chawla.

Let us see whether Trump follows Namaste or prefer to go the American way as he meets a plethora of dignitaries and top honchos during his three-day India trip from February 24-26.

Image courtesy of IANS

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