A day after taking oath as Tamil Nadu's new chief minister, MK Stalin today said he has given a clear instruction to his officers: "Don't fudge the Covid data".
"There is no point in fudging numbers. Truth comes out eventually. I have told officers not to fudge Covid data. Let's face the facts directly," he is heard saying in a clip shared from his Twitter handle.
The DMK returned to power in Tamil Nadu after nearly a decade as MK Stalin took oath on Friday morning. At 69, he is the oldest first-time chief minister of the state.
He takes charge at a time when India is fighting a deadly second wave that has captured the world's attention.
Tamil Nadu is among the 10 most affected states. The state, which has logged over 13 lakh cases since the pandemic broke, reported over 26,000 cases on Friday.
Tackling Covid is a key challenge for the new government.
Shortly after the oath-taking on Friday, MK Stalin announced relief for families of ration card holders affected by Covid. He further said the state will bear expenses for all coronavirus-related treatments to state government insurance cardholders in the empanelled private hospitals.
Earlier today, a two-week lockdown was announced in the state from May 10 to May 24.
MK Stalin was among the few chief ministers Prime Minister Narendra Modi dialled up today to discuss the Covid situation.
Even as the state voted in a single phase last month to elect the new government, political leaders - across parties- have been blamed by experts for holding crowd-pulling rallies, which may have led to surge in Covid infections.