Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Narottam Mishra on Saturday violated the social distancing rule while visiting his hometown for the first time after his appointment. The leader, who took charge of the important ministry earlier this week amid the global coronavirus pandemic, was not wearing a mask as his family members and supporters gave him a warm reception.
The leader, who earlier this year played a key role in toppling the Kamal Nath government, went to his hometown Datia on Saturday. As he approached his house along with his supporters, his family members applied tilak on his forehead and offered sweets. Neither Mr Mishra nor his family members were wearing masks, which have been made mandatory by the centre to check the spread of the virus.
His dozen-odd supporters were also not wearing masks and were standing behind him huddled together. The video of the gathering is viral on social media.
Mr Mishra later went to his office without a mask.
@ChouhanShivraj got the Health minister after a month, but it seems the newly appointed @drnarottammisra forgets #Social_Distancing and wearing #facemaskholder on return to his home town Datia @INCMP@OfficeOfKNath@ndtvindia@ndtv#moblynching#COVID2019india#Covid_19pic.twitter.com/BWhMeMRaG0— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) April 26, 2020
With 145 new coronavirus cases reported in the state in the last 24 hours, the total has reached 2,090. With four additions on Sunday, the death count crossed the 100-mark.
Earlier this month, the state government had issued an order making masks compulsory. The Public Health Department had said those who would not wear masks will be prosecuted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been appealing to the masses to wear masks and follow the social distancing rule. In his video addresses, he wears mask or cover his face with a piece of cloth to promote the habit. On Sunday, on his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he said masks will now become "symbol of civilised society".