Eliyantha White: Sri Lankan shaman dies of Covid after touting cure

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Buddhist monks at funeral of Eliyantha White - 23 September
Eliyantha White is said to have refused the vaccine

A Sri Lankan shaman who touted a potion which he said would protect people against Covid-19 has died with the disease, his family says.

Eliyantha White treated sports stars and top politicians with the potion, which he said came to him in a dream.

He said pouring it into rivers could end the pandemic in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India.

The 48-year-old fell ill with the virus earlier this month and was taken to hospital where his condition worsened.

His potion was publicly endorsed by Sri Lanka's former health minister, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who subsequently spent two weeks in intensive care with Covid.

Mr White rose to prominence in recent years after treating several Indian cricket stars, but his treatments have been rejected by mainstream doctors.

In 2010, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar publicly thanked him after he said the shaman had healed a knee injury.

He also gave consultations to the current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who tweeted his condolences.

"His legacy will continue to live through all the lives, he touched and healed of various ailments," Mr Rajapaksa wrote.

Mr White's body was cremated on Thursday in line with Covid regulations.

Sri Lanka has been under curfew for the past month because of the spread of the Delta variant.

Officials say 12,000 people have died with the virus in the country and more than half a million have been infected, but medics say the death toll could be twice as high.

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