Amid raging second COVID-19 wave in India, the Central government on Monday said it's time people started wearing masks inside their homes as well.
Addressing a press briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the country, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, said, "If there is COVID-19 positive case in the family, it is very important that the person wears a mask even indoors because the virus can spread to others in the home. I would rather go on to say that the time has come that we start wearing mask at home even otherwise," Dr. VK Paul said.
"The person who is infected must wear it (mask), but even others must do it when sitting with other family members at home. The infected person should be isolated in a separate room," Dr. Paul added.
Research has shown that if no physical distancing measures are followed, one person can infect 406 people in 30 days, the government said, adding that if physical exposure is reduced by 50 per cent then one person can infect around 15 people during the period. And, if physical exposure is reduced by 75 per cent, then one person can infect around 2.5 people in 30 days.
Addressing a joint press conference with other senior functionaries, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said many people have been found to be occupying hospital beds out of panic. He stressed that hospital admission should only be on the advice of doctors.
Amid a shortage of medical oxygen, the government said India has enough medical oxygen available, but the challenge is to transport it to hospitals. The government said it is taking various measures to ensure adequate supply of oxygen to hospitals. The government asked hospitals for judicious use of oxygen and to plug leakage, if any.
It also said that rational use of medical oxygen and appropriate prescription of drugs such as Remdesivir, Tocilizumab are critical in the fight against the pandemic. The government said effectiveness of Remdesivir on critical patients is "not well-established" yet as it suggested use of other prescribed drugs.
Agarwal said that however much infrastructure is created, it will come under stress looking at the population of the country and added that it is important to curb the infection.
The government stressed on continuing vaccination of people, even at a faster pase, and maintaining COVID-19 appropriate behaviours.
(With PTI inputs)