BJP Chief JP Nadda Points To People Without Masks, Praises PM's "Suraksha Kavach"

"You all are sitting close to each other, no one is wearing a mask. This is Modiji's Suraksha Kavach," JP Nadda said.

"Even Biden is wearing a mask,"JP Nadda told his audience in Kolkata.


BJP chief JP Nadda on Wednesday praised what he called "Modiji's Suraksha Kavach", pointing to the laxity in observance of Covid safety measures in Kolkata. "You all are sitting close to each other, no one is wearing a mask. This is Modiji's Suraksha Kavach," Mr Nadda said in his address to the BJP state executive at the National Library in Kolkata. "Look at pictures from abroad. Even (US President) Biden is wearing a mask," he added as a point of reference.

While wearing of masks are no longer mandatory in many states, including Bengal, there has been an uptick in Covid numbers in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, which bore the brunt of the first and second waves of Covid.

On Tuesday, the state recorded 1,881 fresh cases of coronavirus over a 24-hour period -- 81 per cent more than the previous day and highest since February 18 -- and reported one case of BA5 variant. Mumbai alone accounted for 1,242 new cases, almost double the Monday's count.

On Wednesday, Mumbai saw a 42 per cent rise in fresh Covid cases -- the highest in over 4 months. The 1,765 fresh cases reported are the highest since January 25, when 1,815 cases were logged. The 2,701 new cases recorded across Maharashtra is the highest since February 15.

Earlier on Wednesday, the civil aviation regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) also announced action against passengers who refuse to wear masks, following a Delhi High Court order.

On June 3, the court had called for strict action against laxity in maintaining Covid protocol at airports and flights, pointing out that the pandemic is not over.

If a passenger refuses to follow protocol despite reminders, action should be taken under health ministry or DGCA guidelines, the court had said.

On Wednesday, the DGCA said passengers who refuse to comply can be de-boarded ahead of take-off or treated as unruly passengers and can even be subject to legal action by security agencies.