Even though his Congress party government in Punjab has made wearing a face mask in public a must, legislator Navjot Singh Sidhu has been seen mingling with people and frontline healthcare workers without wearing a mask to extend a helping hand to those who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
He was seen touring his Amritsar East constituency, which he preferred to give a miss largely after resigning from the state Cabinet in July last, daily along with his handful of supporters to distribute ration packets among the needy and underprivileged.
Also he is regularly meeting doctors, healthcare workers and municipal workers and sanitation staff to boost their morale. During his brief visits across his constituency, even his security guards and supporters are not seen wearing the masks.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered strict enforcement of the compulsory wearing of masks in public and asked the police to take stringent action, including imposition of fines, against the violators.
The state made wearing a mask compulsory in public earlier this week. But in videos posted on his Facebook page titled 'Jittega Punjab' on Saturday, Sidhu was seen at public places donning the face mask. Also he went to Government Medical College where he interacted briefly with doctors and health workers while maintaining a social distance.
In one of the videos Sidhu was heard asking people to follow social distancing. But some of his supporters were seen touching his feet. In a video he was heard asking his supporters how many households are there in this locality. One of them replied, 650 households.
In his chaste Punjabi style, Sidhu said, "Not even a single person should be left (without distribution of ration)." On seeing a sticker posted on a ration packet, probably mentioning the donor's name, Sidhu asked his supporter to remove this sticker. "No need to tell anyone (about the donor)."
Quoting WHO DirectorGeneral Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Sidhu in a Facebook post tried to justify that mask wearing by the public is not among the WHO's recommendations.