Guwahati: Assam health minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has defended his remark that there is no need to wear mask as there is no COVID in Assam, stating that the state has contained the spread of the virus. However, netizens are unhappy with his comments.
Taking to Twitter, the minister said, “Those who are making fun on my statement on mask, must come to Assam and see how we have contained COVID-19 in compare to the states like Delhi, Kerala, and Maharashtra along with impressive recovery of our economy. We will celebrate Bihu also with the same enthusiasm this year.”
Interacting with a reporter from The Lallantop on Saturday, the state health minister who is seeking repoll from Jalukbari constituency on April 6, said “The Centre might give its directives but in the context of Assam, as on date, Covid is almost non-existent. So, why this need to create panic among people?”
“When the need to wear masks will arise, I will tell people to do so. At present, we have to focus on reviving the economy. If people wear masks, how will beauty parlours run? Beauty parlours must also function. So, I have told people that this is an interim relief. The day I feel there is threat from COVID-19, people will be asked to wear mask again. Violation then will attract a fine of Rs 500,” he told the news portal.
His remark comes at a time when India is witnessing record number of COVID-19 cases, and several states have started implementing restrictions once again and tightened testing protocols.
Check out how netizens reacted: