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Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s remark on Covid-19 stirs controversy

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma has issued a misleading statement in the wake of the Covid outbreak. The minister’s statement was in response to a question from a journalist. The minister said there was no Covid in Assam and therefore there was no need to wear a face mask. ┬áHimanta Biswa Sarma said, “The Centre can give instructions and guidelines but in the context of Assam, Covid-19 does not exist as of today. When Covid-19 returns, I will tell the people and ask them to wear mask.”

“Nahi hai toh nahi hai. Main kya karun? (If there is no need to wear mask then what can I do?),” he added. “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 said.

 

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