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‘Corona cop’ on patrol as millions left struggling

Get me out of here: Thousands of migrant workers queue to board buses to take them from New Delhi to their homes elsewhere PICTURE: EPA

A POLICE officer sick of people ignoring the Covid-19 lockdown is giving them a visual reminder they should stay indoors — with a helmet shaped like the coronavirus.

Insp Rajesh Babu was confronting motorists at a checkpoint in Chennai, India, yesterday while sporting the striking headwear featuring the distinctive tentacle-like arms of the virus’s ‘crown’.

He said: ‘This corona helmet is an attempt to do something different.

‘When I wear this, the thought of coronavirus comes into the minds of the commuters, especially the children. They react strongly and want to be taken home.’ India’s lockdown is the largest of its type, with 1.3billion people given less than four hours notice when it was imposed, leaving millions struggling for food and masses of migrant workers stranded.

Visible deterrent: Insp Babu stops a family while wearing the virus helmet PICTURE: AFP

Speaking after the death toll rose to 25 yesterday, prime minister Narendra Modi tried to appease his compatriots and encourage them to toe the line.

‘I apologise for taking these harsh steps that have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people,’ he said. ‘I know some of you will be angry with me. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle.’