India’s Adline Castelino (left) and Miss Universe 2021 Andrea Meza of Mexico.


Covid talks at Miss Universe 2021: Mexico’s Andrea Meza, India’s Adline Castelino on pandemic


DUBAI – Tough questions on the coronavirus pandemic were thrown during the Top 5 Q&A at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant on Monday (May 17).

Mexico’s Andrea Meza, who went on to claim the coveted Miss Universe crown, and India’s Adline Castelino, picked up the pandemic questions from the judges.

Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors.

Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

During the Q&A segment, Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee asked Meza: “If you were the leader of your country, how would you have handled the Covid-19 pandemic?”

Meza said she would impose immediate lockdown.

“I believe there’s not a perfect way to handle this harsh situation, such as Covid-19. However, I believe that what I would have done was create a lockdown even before everything was that big because we lost so many lives and we cannot afford that. We have to take care of our people. That’s why. I would have taken care of them since the beginning,” she answered.  Watch the Q&A here:

As of Sunday, Mexico’s health ministry reported a total of 2,381,923 infections and 220,437 deaths from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, India’s Castelino emphasised that health should be a priority.

Castelino was asked whether countries should lock down due to Covid-19 despite the strain on their economies, or open their borders and risk the potential of increase in infection rates.

While Miss India declined to give a definitive answer, she urged to government to “draw a balance” when making decisions.

“Coming from India and witnessing what India is experiencing right now, I have realized something very important. That nothing is more important than your health [and that] of your loved ones. And you have to draw a balance between economy and health, and that can only be done when the government works with the people hand in hand and produces something that will work with the economy,” she answered.

India has been hit with a massive second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with hospitals overwhelmed by patients and the country struggling with severe vaccine shortage.

As of Sunday, officials said the number of deaths in 24 hours was higher than 4,000, taking the country’s death toll to 270,000.

Deaths grew by 4,077, while infections rose by 311,170. Total infections have risen by more than two million this week alone, and deaths by nearly 28,000 in just seven days. ICA/Expat Media

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