Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Amid surge, Assam health minister says needn’t wear mask – ET HealthWorld

GUWAHATI: Amid a countrywide Covid-19 surge, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has triggered outrage and ridicule on social media by claiming that wearing a mask in public is no longer necessary “in the context of Assam as currently there is no Covid in the state”.

He made the claim on Saturday during an interview with an online Hindi news portal and followed it up with a tweet on Sunday, defending what he had said.

“Those who are making fun of my statement on mask, must come to Assam and see how we have contained Covid-19 in comparison to the states like Delhi, Kerala and Maharashtra along with impressive recovery of our economy.We will celebrate Bihu (Assamese new year starting on April 14) also with same enthusiasm,” tweeted Sarma, who has been campaigning for BJP across the state and routinely mingling with supporters without the safety of a mask.

Asked on Saturday whether his stand on Covid protocol in the capacity of health minister wasn’t contradictory to the Centre’s directives, Sarma had said, “Why wear masks unnecessarily and create panic. When the situation demands, I will inform the people to wear masks. I have to revive the economy…how can beauty parlours function if customers wear masks? They have to survive.” Assam on Sunday reported 69 new Covid cases.

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