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Masks scarce, cover faces with ‘gamchha’: Tripura CM’s ‘advice’ to people to combat coronavirus

AGARTALA: Due to scarcity of masks, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Friday asked people to cover their faces with ‘Jal Gamchha’ (a traditional Indian towel) in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Masks are mandatory for people working in hospitals or who are in a quarantine facility. A panic was created that people not using conventional masks would be infected with COVID-19.”

“There is enough stock of masks for people working in hospitals but at the same time it is not possible for the government to distribute the same to the state’s forty lakh people. So, I would request everyone to use ‘Jal Gamchha’ as masks as a precautionary measure,” Deb said in a video message.

He appealed to the people to avoid going out unless absolutely necessary and maintaining social distance.

Deb also suggested people to write autobiographies, books and diaries to pass time during the lockdown.

“How will you pass these 21 days? I appeal you all, ranging from children studying in classes 3-4 to post-graduate and professionals, to remember the memorable moments of your life and write diary, a book or your own life history.

“You might become a writer in 21 days. Write your autobiography. You would feel 21 days were reduced to 21 seconds,” Deb said.

He had last year written a book on Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur, the last king of the erstwhile princely state of Tripura.

The chief minister, who also holds the health portfolio, said that 948 people have been placed under home quarantine in the state but not a single coronavirus case has been reported so far.