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Indian police officer dons coronavirus helmet to raise awareness

March 30 (UPI) -- A police inspector on traffic duty in India is raising awareness of coronavirus lockdown measures by wearing a motorcycle helmet modeled after the virus.

Inspector Rajesh Babu, who has been stopping pedestrians and vehicles at checkpoints in Chennai, is sporting a helmet fashioned by local artist B. Gowtham to resemble coronavirus when viewed under a microscope.

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Babu said he has been using the helmet to remind travelers not to go outside for non-essential reasons and to wear face masks and other protective gear when they do have to go out.

"If you go out, I will come in," Babu, in character as the virus, has been telling travelers.

Gowtham said he wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of the virus and inspire people to stay home.

"People are not hygienic enough," Gowtham told CNN. "We have government orders not to come out -- but still, we're seeing people roaming here and there without proper safety equipment, without masks."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced nationwide lockdown measures Tuesday. The measures are scheduled to last for at least 21 days.

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