Covid-19: Half of the Indian population do not wear mask, says govt

Published on May 20, 2021 06:11 PM IST

Only 14 per cent of the people wear the mask correctly, the ministry said citing a study conducted in 25 cities, which was reported by the media earlier.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus transmits majorly through aerosol and droplets, which makes wearing a mask very important to curtail its spread. (File photo)
The SARS-CoV-2 virus transmits majorly through aerosol and droplets, which makes wearing a mask very important to curtail its spread. (File photo)
By | Written by Deepali Sharma | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Amid the ravaging second wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Union health ministry on Thursday revealed that around half of the population does not wear a mask. Only 14 per cent of the people wear the mask correctly, the ministry said citing a study conducted in 25 cities, which was reported by the media earlier.

The ministry said that of half the population who wear a mask, 64 per cent of them cover the mouth but not nose, 20 per cent of them wear it on the chin, two per cent have the mask on the neck and only 14 per cent wear it correctly covering the nose, mouth, chin and with a clip on the nose.

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"Half of India isn't wearing a mask! Around 50% Indians do not wear a #Mask today, " the ministry said.

This comes after the government issued an advisory earlier in the day to break the chain of transmission. In a document titled 'Stop the Transmission, Crush the Pandemic,' the government issued guidelines on how to contain the spread of the virus as it said aerosols can be carried in the air up to a distance of 10 meters.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus transmits majorly through aerosol and droplets, which makes wearing a mask very important to curtail its spread. "The virus is released in the saliva and nasal discharge of an infected person through exhalation, talking, speaking, singing, laughing, coughing, and sneezing etc," the document read.

As per the advisory, the mask should fit snugly on the face leaving no air gaps around the nose and chin, cloth masks should be washed and sun-dried every day.

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The government highly recommended 'double masking' to prevent transmission. For double masking, one should wear a surgical mask and another tight-fitting cloth mask over it. In case the surgical mask is not available then one is recommended to wear two cotton masks together.

"Ideally the surgical mask should be used only once, but when pairing, you can use it up to 5 times by leaving it in a dry place for 7 days after one use (ideally give it some sun exposure) and then reuse as a double layer," the government advised, adding that the surgical masks should never be washed.

India on Thursday reported 276,110 new Covid-19 infections, and a drop in daily deaths as 3,874 people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours, according to the official data.

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