JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Because the world scrambles to inoculate folks towards COVID-19, one retailer proprietor in Malaysia is discovering his paper vaccines have change into widespread prayer providing gadgets throughout a non secular competition to honour the deceased.
The Hungry Ghost competition, celebrated by Buddhists and Taoists throughout Southeast Asia, centres on a perception that the spirits of the useless return to Earth throughout the seventh month of the Chinese language Lunar calendar. Throughout this time, folks miss meals gadgets for the useless and burn incense and complicated choices manufactured from paper resembling issues the deceased could have wished.
This yr, a field set of a syringe and two vaccine vials manufactured from paper are among the many fastest-selling gadgets for the competition at Raymond Shieh Siow Leong’s spiritual items retailer within the southern Malaysian metropolis of Johor Bahru.
“The COVID-19 scenario in our nation is kind of severe and many individuals handed away earlier than receiving the vaccine. I hope this product may help the deceased to fulfil their dying want,” Shieh stated.
Shieh stated he began making the paper vaccine units in early August, producing about 30 to 50 units a day. Every set prices 22.80 ringgit ($5.45) and Shieh stated he had offered greater than 200 units up to now.
“We made this paper vaccine to check the water of the market, however we did not count on the response to be this good. The orders preserve coming, and now we have to work extra time till late at evening to make this product,” he stated.
Malaysia has one of many highest charges of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia with a complete caseload of virtually 1.6 million and a dying toll of 14,818. About 57% of the inhabitants has acquired at the very least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A Muslim-majority nation, about 20% of Malaysia’s 32 million folks practise Buddhism, the second-most prevalent faith.
($1 = 4.1870 ringgit)
Reporting by Lim Huey Teng; Modifying by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Karishma Singh