Actor-politician Rajinikanth's post on Saturday backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for ''Janata Curfew'' has been taken down by Twitter, reportedly on complaints of misinformation.
The 69-year-old actor had tweeted that the virus was at its second stage in India and had appealed to people to stay indoors to stop the country moving to the third stage, in which the virus spreads through community transmission.
The chain of transmission could be broken by the 14-hour social distancing, he had said.
"To prevent community transmission, the virus needs to be curbed totally for 12 to 14 hours," Rajinikanth had said in a video message.
"With the Prime Minister calling for Janata Curfew on March 22nd, India prepares to avoid crucial Stage 3 community transmission of coronavirus in the country. Italy tried implementing a similar nationwide curfew to prevent Stage 3, but to the lack of support from the citizens, the efforts failed, resulting in the death of thousands of people to the pandemic," he said.
"We don't want such a crisis in India and I urge everyone to rise to the occasion and participate in the Janata Curfew by strictly staying indoors and practising social-distancing. In these crucial times, let us also remember and thank the selfless service of all the doctors, nurses and medical workers by participating in the nationwide appreciation and prayers at 5 pm tomorrow."
Many criticised the post and questioned how staying at home for 14 hours could prevent the pandemic from entering Stage 3 in India.
A message on his timeline now says: "This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules. Learn more."
However Rajinikanth's YouTube link for the video is still available.
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan also posted a video encouraging people to follow ''social distancing'' to prevent the spread of virus and appealed to them not to take part in large gatherings.
"By following that, you are preventing the virus from affecting you and your dear ones," the Makkal Needhi Maiam president said in a video message.
"Stay indoors and ensure you spend time with family and try to be responsible. Maintain social distance and stay safe," he added.