Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Wednesday started a campaign called 'Namaste over Handshake' that encourages people to greet in the traditional Indian style, to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The campaign also includes health advice on how people can protect themselves from the infection by adopting hygiene practices such as regularly washing hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the campaign, the state health and family welfare department has uploaded a poster on the social media, featuring a 'Bharatnatyam' dancer draped in a red saree saying 'Namaste'.

"Use Namasthe to greet others, fight against corona" read a message on the poster online.

The poster has health helpline numbers (104 and 011- 23978046) for public queries on the viral disease, which has claimed 4,251 lives worldwide.

A health department official told PTI that as part of the campaign, posters have been uploaded on social media and it would be printed and despatched to different districts to be put up at important junctions.

"We had been working on this idea. Kerala has already done it. They are using Kathakali dansseus whereas we are using a Bharatanatyam dancer as our model," the official said.

Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar too had insisted that people should adopt 'Namasthe' or 'Namaskara' to greet people instead of handshakes or hugs.

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Mumbai, Feb 6: The Congress on Monday demanded the Centre seize the passport of Gautam Adani, who is battling allegations of stock manipulation, to prevent him from escaping the country as the opposition party held protests against Adani outside offices of LIC and SBI.

A Mumbai Congress leader said businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi could escape the country because the BJP government didn't confiscate their passports in time.

The Congress staged demonstrations outside the offices of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation as part of the party's nationwide protests over the Adani issue.

"The Centre should confiscate the passport of Gautam Adani so that he would not be able to escape the country. When scams by Harshad Mehta or Ketan Paresh were unearthed, the then Union government led by Congress had confiscated their passports preventing Mehta and Parekh from flying out of India," Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap told reporters.

He said industrialists Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, who are facing allegations of loan default and banking fraud, managed to run away from the country because their passports were not seized by the BJP government in time.

Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after the US short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations last fortnight in its report, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group, which has denied the charges.

The Congress party has organised nationwide agitations outside the offices of SBI and LIC claiming both the public sector institutions were forced by the government to increase their exposure in various Adani group companies.

"Today, we protested outside the offices of SBI and LIC in Mumbai. We will hold similar protests outside the offices of the Bombay Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India in the next 15 days," Jagtap added.

Similar protests were held in Pune.

Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole cited the Hindenburg Research report to say Rahul Gandhi stands vindicated "as it is proved that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running the government for a handful of industrialists".

"Our leader Rahul Gandhi has been talking constantly that the Prime Minister is running this government for his friends and a handful of industrialists. Rahul proved right as per the Hindenburg report," he said.

Patole alleged the Adani Group obtained loans from LIC and other banks by furnishing bogus documents.

"Today, the common people (who have their money invested into LIC) are scared about the future of their investment," the Congress leader said and demanded PM Modi give a full "hisab" or account of (the LIC's investment exposure to Adani group) to the people.

"Narendra Modi is shielding his friends which means the work of siphoning off the money of common people is going on," he alleged.

Besides Patole, former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde, and other local leaders were present during the protests.

The Congress has stepped up the offensive against the government over the Adani-Hindenburg issue and is seeking a discussion in Parliament.

The party has also demanded an impartial investigation under the supervision of the Supreme Court or a joint parliamentary committee to probe the charges raised in the Hindenburg report against the Adani Group.

The Congress is alleging that the issue involves crores of rupees of common people invested in the Adani Group, whose shares have seen a beating on the stock markets ever since the allegations of "financial malpractices and stock manipulation" came out in the Hindenburd research report.