Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar in the video Image Credit: YouTube/PIB

Just as the novel coronavirus-induced lockdowns across the globe are easing, experts say it’s more important than ever to take precautions against the spread of infection. In India, where more than 208,000 COVID-19 cases have been detected, Akshay Kumar has released a video calling for action.

In the 1.30-minute video shot by filmmaker R Balki, Kumar speaks of the need to return to work, saying as long as precautions are maintained the chances of contracting COVID-19 remain low. He also lists these protective measures: social distancing – at least 2 metres; wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth properly; and washing hands frequently.

In the video, by India’s Press Information Bureau, he calls on solidarity not stigma when confronting the pandemic. The clip, that has racked up 216,250 views on YouTube within 24 hours of its release, is captioned: “Our battle with COVID-19 is not over, but we will not be afraid of the virus. We will take all precautions and we are going to move on with our lives.”

The public service announcement had a small crew, said Balki in an interview with PTI. “This is an ad for the health ministry featuring Akshay Kumar about the post lockdown responsibilities of each one of us. We need to get back to work but ensure our safety and those of others. So at our shoot we did the same. Like getting back to work with social distancing, sanitised outdoor set, disinfectant screen, masks. We got used to it in a few minutes. There was minimal crew and very strict protocols,” Balki said.