The operator of a Delta yoga studio that was shut down after claiming hot yoga can kill the novel coronavirus is facing an investigation after posting a series of videos where he entered health-care facilities to get the “truth” about the pandemic.
One video shows Mak Parhar attempting to go through a COVID-19 drive-through testing site.
In another, he enters and explores Royal Columbian Hospital, using elevators and peeking into the intensive care unit and an area where COVID-19 patients have been isolated.
B.C.’s testing sites are referral only, while health officials are asking people to stay away from hospitals unless they are in need of urgent care.
Royal Columbian is one of 17 hospitals the province has designated as primary COVID-19 centres, and has been virtually emptied out to make room for a possible surge in coronavirus patients.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the case has been referred to police, and that the videos show someone putting health-care workers and patients at risk.
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“This is just absolutely appalling and completely unacceptable, this individual is just a complete idiot,” he said.
“There’s absolutely no place for this kind of nonsense, this kind of anti-science moronic behaviour, it’s just totally beyond the pale.”
Other videos on Pahar’s YouTube page show him hosting “Anti-covIDIOT” gatherings that violate social distancing directives, and espousing flat-earth conspiracy theories.
Reached by Global News, Parhar said he didn’t know the testing sites were referral only, and claimed his yoga studio was shut down because of a miscommunication with a bylaw officer.
He described the content of his videos as citizen journalism.
“I would like concrete evidence of this so-called pandemic,” he said. “You guys are just pushing out this pandemic, pandemic narrative down everybody’s throat.
Farnworth said the consequences of the videos would depend on the outcome of an investigation, and whether it was determined if the criminal code or public health orders were violated.
People caught breaking the orders could face fines of up to $25,000 and jail terms of up to six months, under B.C.’s Public Health Act.
“I say bring it on,” Parhar told Global News.
“I say tell the police to go and investigate where this pandemic is and what a virus is.”