A baby boy and girl born in India amid the current lockdown have been named Corona and COVID by their parents, local reports claim.
The newborn twins were born at the Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in the early hours of 27 March according to well-respected Indian news outlet NDTV.
Parents Preeti and Vinay Verma, from Chhattisgarh, told the Press Trust of India the names Corona and COVID were chosen to symbolise triumph over hardship.
Mother Preeti Verma, a resident of Puranti Basi, said: ‘The delivery happened after facing several difficulties and therefore my husband and I wanted to make the day memorable.
She added: “Indeed the virus is dangerous and life-threatening but its outbreak made people focus on sanitation, hygiene and inculcate other good habits. Thus, we thought about these names.”
Verma said that hospital staff started calling her son Corona and daughter COVID so they decided to name them after the pandemic.
The couple already has a two-year-old daughter and struggled to reach the hospital in time for the birth amid the lockdown.
Verma said: “I suddenly experienced severe labour pain and somehow my husband arranged an ambulance operated under 102 Mahtari Express service.
“As no vehicular movement was allowed on roads due to the lockdown, we were stopped by police at various places but they let us go after noticing my condition.”
She added: “I was wondering what would happen in the hospital as it was midnight, but fortunately doctors and other staff were very cooperative. Our relatives who wanted to reach the hospital, could not make it as bus and train services were stopped due to the lockdown.”
The twins were born via caesarean section following complications, and both mother and babies have since been discharged.
Public relations officer Shubhra Singh from the government-run hospital confirmed the news to NDTV.
However, the Corona and COVID parents did say they may later change their decision and rename them.
India is currently in the grips of a 21-day lockdown in a bid to tackle rising coronavirus cases.
The latest figures reveal that more than 2,300 people have been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19) across India with 56 people have died.
The Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital was contacted for comment.