"Go corona, Go corona, No corona, No corona!" – chanted Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday claiming that the Go Corona Go slogan coined by him a few days back has now become famous worldwide.

In a video that went viral, Athawale was seen chanting his new slogan even as the virus continues to stoke fear around the world and kill over 4,800 people in India. "I gave the slogan in February, when the Covid-19 situation was not as bad in India. At that time people were saying, will this make corona go away? Now we are seeing this slogan all across the world," the Union Minister said.

Ramdas Athawale
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale.PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

The minister said questions were raised earlier if such a slogan would help but its widespread use has proved the efficacy of the slogan.

When millions of Indians switched off the lights at their homes and lit candles, diyas or turned on mobile phone torches for nine minutes starting 9 pm on Sunday, in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to show the nation's "collective resolve and solidarity" in its fight against coronavirus, Athawale was seen chanting the slogan at his residence in suburban Bandra along with his family members.

In February, a video of Athawale, Chinese Consul General in Mumbai Tang Guocai and Buddhist monks chanting "Go corona, go corona" at a prayer meeting went viral on social media.

The video was reportedly shot at Gateway of India on February 20 during a prayer session to stop the spread of the coronavirus in China.

The novel coronavirus, which was first detected in China''s Wuhan city in December, has since spread to several countries, including India, and killed thousands and shaved off several billion dollars from the world economy.

The clip urging coronavirus to take a "back step" amid crises was shared across social media platforms, leaving netizens amused.

(With agency inputs)