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Indian man doles out $4,000 for gold face mask for COVID-19 protection

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Businessman Shankar Kurhade wears a facemask made of gold and being worth 289,000 rupees amid concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in Pune. Photo: AFP

A businessman from the Indian state of Pune has dole out $4,000 to make a bespoke gold face mask to guard himself him from the coronavirus.

The precious metal covering weighs 60 grams (two ounces) and took craftsmen eight days to make, said businessman Shankar Kurhade, from the western city of Pune.

"It is a thin mask and has tiny pores that is helping me to breathe," Shankar told AFP.

"I am not sure if it will be effective to protect me from a coronavirus infection but I am taking other precautions," he added.

When going out, the 49-year-old said he likes to adorn himself with gold jewellery weighing a kilogramme, including a bracelet, necklace and rings on each finger of his right hand.

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Kurhade — whose company makes industrial sheds — said he got the idea for the gold face mask after seeing a media report about a man wearing one made from silver.

"People are asking me for selfies," he said.

"They are awestruck when they see me wearing the gold mask in markets."

India has made face masks mandatory in public places in a bid to control the spread of the virus in the country, which has around 650,000 confirmed cases and more than 18,600 fatalities.


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