New Delhi: At a time when the deadly coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the world, the international police organisation, also known as Interpol, on Friday warned in its guidelines that the virus could be used to target political leaders in several countries, including India. Also Read - All New Year Parties Banned in South Korea to Control COVID Situation

Citing reports of ‘individuals spitting and coughing in the faces of law enforcement officers, health practitioners and essential worker to intimidate them’, Interpol warned India and 193 other member countries that ‘Covid-infected letters’ might be sent to political figures and individuals, a report in Hindustan Times stated. Also Read - Doing Everything to Know Origin of COVID-19, Will Start Study from Wuhan: WHO

The development comes at a time when India’s COVID-19 caseload surpassed the 90-lakh mark on Friday with 45,882 new cases, while the recoveries surged to 84.28 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 93.6 per cent. Also Read - Coronavirus: Odisha Extends Lockdown Till Dec 31, Academic Institutes to Remain Shut

The Interpol in its guidelines stated that this could represent a risk if these individuals are infected with Covid-19. It further added that attempts at deliberate contamination by spitting and coughing on surfaces and objects have also been reported.

The guidelines from the international agency further stated that despite limited risk, a few cases of threatening letters allegedly contaminated with COVID-19 targeted political figures.

The Interpol said the Covid-infected letters could also be used to target other vulnerable groups. However, it did not mention any specific instances where aforementioned type of letters were sent to anyone of political stature.

Prior to this, the CBI has also alerted the police and other law-enforcement agencies across the country about an Interpol input warning about racketeers selling fake hand sanitisers.

The total coronavirus cases in India on Friday mounted to 90,04,365 and the death toll climbed to 1,32,162 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 584 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.46 per cent.There are 4,43,794 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 4.92 per cent of the total caseload.