New Delhi: As COVID-19 cases show an increasing trend in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), some neighbouring states have made the mask mandatory in public places again. The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on Monday (April 18) decided to bring back the mask mandates in some of the districts. Here are all the details:
– In view of the improving COVID-19 situation, the Uttar Pradesh government had given relaxation in wearing face masks earlier this month. But as the cases have risen in the recent weeks, the UP government has made use of masks mandatory in public places in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Baghpat as well as capital Lucknow.
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– According to an official of the UP government, these mask mandates will apply to everyone in the city, especially schools.
– As of April 18, 65 new Covid cases have been confirmed in Gautam Buddh Nagar, 20 in Ghaziabad and 10 in Lucknow, the official said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered “close monitoring” of the situation in all these districts.
– Along with UP government, the Haryana government too has made it compulsory for people to wear a face mask in public places in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar amid a rise in Covid cases.
– Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said in view of the rise in Covid cases over the past few days in Gurugram, the wearing of a mask has been made compulsory. He said that all the four districts are near New Delhi and fall in the national capital region (NCR).
– According to the official data, as of April 18, of 234 cases have been reported in Haryana, 198 in Gurugram alone while 21 from Faridabad.
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Experts’ View on Mask Mandate
Talking about easing of relaxations in India for COVID-19, Dr. Rommel Tickoo, Director, Internal Medicine, Max Super Specialty Hospital said,
I think it was a bit early for restrictions to ease, we have to tell people that they need to wear mask and this is the only thing that can protect us apart from vaccines. We cannot get complacent; we cannot think that the virus is dead and cannot infect us. There is a long way to go, look at the other countries now who are facing severe waves due to COVID. So, just because we have less numbers, we should not think that COVID-19 is over and let our guard down.
Reiterating the importance of wearing masks, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman, National IMA COVID Task Force said,
Without a mask, we could be inadvertently contaminating the air with the virus which may infect a vulnerable person. There are enough studies that tell us the importance of wearing a mask, especially an N-95 mask. If you are wearing a cloth mask, layer it with a surgical mask. It is essential for India to not allow a fourth wave to come in.
Also Read: Experts Urge To Mask Up, Maintain Hand Hygiene And Social Distance As Daily COVID-19 Cases See A Jump
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.