Indian social media influencer Samir Khan (who performs as “Sameer King”) recently encouraged his 75,000 TikTok followers to trust God instead of face masks — or, as he referred to them, “a piece of cloth” — when it comes to preventing COVID-19.
It didn’t work. He just became the first person in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district to test positive for the virus.
MP: TikTok user Samir Khan who mocked face mask in video tests positive for Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/XVoAWBMoww
— Akash Modani (@akash_modani) April 11, 2020
Khan went to a government hospital complaining of cough and a fever after posting several videos mocking the deadly virus:
In one of the videos, apparently shot after the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the man was purportedly seen sitting on a bike and when someone asked him to wear a mask, he dismissed it saying, Is kapde ke tukde par kya bharosa rakhna, rakhna hai to us upar wale par rakho (why to trust a piece of cloth, keep faith in God).In later part of the video, he was seen throwing a piece of cloth in the air while the song ‘Faya Kun, Faya Kun’, from the movie “Rockstar” played in the background.
Khan is now in isolation at a hospital. He’s stable and he’s posting TikToks from his bed. But these new videos are quite different. This time, he wore a mask and asked people to pray for him. Still, they took away his phone as a result.
“Following complaint that the coronavirus patient shot the video from the quarantine centre and uploaded it through internet, we took his mobile phone in our custody,” [local medical school dean Dr. G. S.] Patel said. After the man uploaded these videos on TikTok, several people mocked him for making fun of the mask.
It’s too bad the doctors weren’t able to do that before Khan encouraged thousands of people to put their faith in mythology over medicine. At least now, though, he’s the face of ignorance in the midst of a global pandemic.
(Featured screenshot via TikTok)