As a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic rips through the country, the government on Monday said people should start wearing masks at home as well, and refrain from inviting guests.
While addressing a press conference, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul said that we have reached such a phase that people might now need to wear masks at home as well.
"Rather, I'll say that the time has come that we start wearing masks even otherwise inside our homes. We used to talk about wearing it outside homes, but the way the infection has spread, it will be better if we wear mask inside our homes if we are sitting with someone," he said.
Dr V K Paul's statement has put many in a tizzy, with some even calling it an impractical suggestion.
Meanwhile, Dr Deepak Baid, former president - Association of Medical Consultants, through a video message, said Dr Paul's statement shouldn’t be taken in the wrong context, and since the current COVID-19 strain is 'virulent', we don’t know who will or will not be infected. His statement should be take in that context, Dr Baid said.
"The statement of Dr Paul that even family members should wear a mask now, actually what he is trying to say is the present virus is 'virulent', and we don’t know who will be infected or not. I feel we should take in that context," Dr Deepak Baid said.
He further added that it doesn’t mean that family members should start wearing a mask, which is not practical. "Because we eat food together, stay together, sleep together it is not practical to wear a mask while doing all this. So, we should take the context of Dr Paul's message in the context that we have to accept and understand the seriousness and severity of this disease. It might not be possible at home, but definitely mask up outside," Dr Deepak Baid said.
Dr V K Paul's advice came at a time when the country has been witnessing the second wave of COVID-19. With 3,23,144 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India's
total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,76,36,307, while the national recovery rate has further dropped to 82.54 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death toll increased to 1,97,894 with 2,771 daily new fatalities, the data showed.
There has been a slight dip in the daily cases as compared to the number of new infections reported in the past few days. The active cases have increased to 28,82,204 comprising 16.34 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 82.54 per cent. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,45,56,209 while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.12 per cent, the data stated.