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An Indian man said he spent around $ 4,000 on a custom gold mask supposed to protect him from the coronavirus epidemic hitting the country.

Eight days were needed to allow artisans to make this 60-gram mask covered with precious metal, said Shankar Kurhade, a businessman from the city of Pune in west India.

“It is a thin mask that has small pores that help me breathe,” he told AFP.

“I am not sure it is effective in protecting me from the coronavirus so I am taking other precautions,” he said.

To go out, this 49-year-old man likes to adorn himself with gold jewelry weighing one kilo, including a bracelet, a necklace and rings that he wears on each finger of his right hand.

Kurhade, who owns a company that makes hangars, said he got the idea for the gold mask after seeing a story about a man wearing a silver one.

“People ask me for selfies,” he said, “they are impressed when they see me wearing the gold mask in the markets.”

India has made it compulsory to wear masks in public places in order to fight the spread of the new coronavirus in the country which, to date, has counted 650,000 infections and more than 18,600 deaths.

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