Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s recent comment on face masks have put him at the receiving end of some solid backlash from other political figures and the common public on the internet too. Sarma, who is the health minister of Assam, while speaking to a reporter had said that there was no Covid in Assam and thus there is no need to wear a face mask. Sarma then told the public that if there is a need, he will inform the people about wearing masks.
A video from the interview that Sarma gave went viral on the internet and netizens were quick to call him out on the irresponsible comment. People pointed out as to how India has been recording alarming number of cases again recently and amid all this, Sarma’s comment doesn’t give out the right message to people.
"There is no Covid in Assam, there is no need to wear mask now in Assam…If there's a need I will inform people to wear the mask." – Assam's Health Minister & Forever CM-in waiting.
— Saral Patel (@SaralPatel) April 3, 2021
Also, while commenting on the same, Sarma’s another statement, assumed to have been made in jest, did not go down well with social media users. Sarma had said in the video, ” If people wear masks, how will the beauty parlous run?”. Now, people have been commenting as to how could the health minister of the state come out with such an irresponsible comment. Many criticized Sarma over his comments and asked what was the need for the centre’s guidelines on Covid-19 if an elected minister gives out such a message.
Chalo one thing is clear, Assam's economy runs only on beauty parlours
— #KhelaHobe (@MufeedMirror) April 3, 2021
For de sake of beauty parlour, no mask.. like really seriously..
— Aamir Ali (@ali_aamir) April 4, 2021
Scientists working on vaccines right now : pic.twitter.com/OAp0Ek8tYz
— Kangana (parody) (@khanakteKangan) April 3, 2021
Thanks Hon'ble Minister for Health @himantabiswa. Really appreciate. Was in a great dilema on this issue. Actually I don't like wearing mask. Thanks a ton
— Dr. Madhumita Saikia (@Madhumita106) April 3, 2021
One more ministry added to the count. Beauty parlour ministry.great initiative.
— Jaffer Sadiq ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ (@jaffersadiq90) April 3, 2021
That's confusing. @narendramodi Ji one of you is wrong.
BTW what's the use of beauty parlour if one doesn't survive covid
— vjoy (@vjoytwt) April 3, 2021
Sarma later tweeted again after the row escalated on Twitter over his statement. He said, “For those who are making fun on my statement on masks must come to Assam and see how we have contained COVID-19, compared to states like Delhi, Kerala and Maharashtra… along with impressive recovery of economy. We will celebrate Bihu also with the same enthusiasm this year,” he added.
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
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 4, 2021
However, users were still not convinced as many countered Sarma’s statement saying that if there was actually no risk of coronavirus is Assam, why are still the coronavirus protocol being followed on voting centres. India has reported 1,03,558 new COVID-19 cases, 52,847 discharges, and 478 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry.