Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin was today seen distributing masks in the streets of Chennai as the southern state records a spike in coronavirus cases like the rest of the country.
In a video he shared on Twitter, he is seen distributing masks among people after stopping his car. He said he saw some people without masks in the streets.
"On my way back to the camp office from the headquarters, I noticed that some people were not wearing masks in public. " reads the rough translation of his tweet in Tamil.
"Everyone please wear a mask!" Stalin appealed. The clip also shows him helping a man wear a mask and some violators greeting him with a smile.
தலைமைச் செயலகத்திலிருந்து முகாம் அலுவலகம் திரும்புகையில், சிலர் பொது இடங்களில் முகக்கவசம் அணியாமல் இருப்பதை கவனித்தேன். அவர்களுக்கு முகக்கவசம் வழங்கினேன்.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) January 4, 2022
அனைவரும் தயவுசெய்து முகக்கவசம் அணியுங்கள்!
தடுப்பூசி- முகக்கவசம்- கிருமிநாசினி- தனிமனித இடைவெளி ஆகியவற்றை கடைப்பிடிப்பீர்! pic.twitter.com/Xex4Nk9jh5
Ever since the pandemic had hit the country, authorities have been repeatedly asking people to wear masks in public places or face a penalty.
Mr Stalin's gesture comes at a time when other political leaders have been criticised for leading poll rallies - ahead of elections in five states -that attract huge crowds.
His candid moments with locals have often been caught on camera. Last year, a video of him cycling along Chennai's East Coast road and stopping for tea at a roadside shop, catching locals by surprise, had gone viral.
His action today also registered the seriousness with which Covid rules need to be followed with the highly infectious Omicron variant spreading so fast in so many parts of the country.
Delhi and Mumbai are among the top cities where the new variant is believed to have propelled the spike.
India has logged over 1,800 cases of the Omicron variant. Most are from Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu has recorded over 120 cases so far.
The state recorded 1,728 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, and 1,594 cases the previous day.