A Hindu priest in India is using face masks made from leaves believing it will protect him from the Covid-19 virus. Footage shows the 73-year-old man in orange robes wearing the DIY mask made from neem and holy basil leaves in Uttar Pradesh, northern India after the states made masks compulsory by law. ‘It is very helpful in getting rid of the disease. It has helped in healing wounds for ages. I had made it without any difficulty,’ the priest says in the video while standing at the bus stand in Sitapur district. The priest’s bizarre creation has caught on and in neighbouring Lakhimpur Kheri district, a local man named Mahendra Singh also started using a similar homemade mask. He claimed that the Indian lilac leaves have lots of benefits and can cure diseases. He also said that the mask ‘feels good’ and is easier to breath through. Mahendra gained instant popularity with his mask creation that other villagers started wearing the same. India suffered a surge in Covid-19 cases after the B.1.617.2 mutation dubbed the ‘Indian variant’ was found in the country. There have been 27.4 million recorded cases and more than 315,000 deaths as of May 26.
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