India COVID-19 study: 50% people still do not wear masks, says Health Ministry

New Delhi: As India continues its battle with the coronavirus pandemic, the Union Health Ministry on Friday informed that according to a study, nearly 50 per cent of the people in the country do not wear masks.

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While speaking at a press briefing, Health Ministry Joint Secretary, Lav Agarwal said, “As per a study, in India, 50 per cent of the people still do not wear masks. Among those who wear masks, 64 per cent of them do not cover their nose properly.”

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He further said that as of now, 9 states have between 50,000 to 100,000 active COVID-19 cases and 19 states have less than 50,000 active cases.

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“Some states like Karnataka and West Bengal are showing positivity of over 25 per cent which remains a cause of concern,” said Agarwal.

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“If one person does not follow physical distancing, then that person can infect 406 persons in a single month”, said Agarwal while elaborating upon the study’s data.

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“I would like to request that physical distancing is the most important social vaccine in terms of COVID-19 management, in terms of critical intervention”, he added.

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“Similarly, the use of masks is also important. If an infected person and a non-infected person do not wear a mask, then there are 90 per cent chances of transmission of infection. But, if those two persons follow social distancing and wear masks, then the infection risk is almost negligible”, he said.

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“In the study, it was found that out of 2,000 people in 25 cities 50 per cent people are not wearing masks properly, 64 per cent of those who wear masks don’t cover their nose properly, 20 per cent have it on their chins, 2 per cent have masks on their neck and only 14 per cent of them wear it correctly by covering nose, mouth, chin and with a clip on the nose”, he added.

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Meanwhile, India reported 259,591 new COVID-19 cases and 4,209 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Friday. According to the Ministry as many as 357,295 people recovered from the COVID-19 disease across the country in the last 24 hours, which is more than the fresh cases reported.

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“The cumulative caseload in India now stands at 26,031,991. There are 3,027,925 active COVID cases in the country,” the Ministry said. As many as 291,331 people have succumbed to the COVID-19 infection in India, while the recovery tally has mounted to 22,712,735.

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