Everyone doesn’t need mask: Health dept
Putting an end to the confusion over the need for wearing masks while coming out of houses during the lockdown, the Health and Family Welfare Services Commissionerate has come up with an advisory clarifying that ‘everyone need not wear a mask’.
A major confusion had been noticed between the Health Department’s stand and the enforcement of rules by the police in the last few days. The police had made it compulsory for every person, who comes out of their houses, to wear a mask or cover their mouth and nose with a cloth. As the enforcement of this rule was very strict, many were stopped on roads and were made to take off their shirt and tie it to cover half their face.
The health advisory issued does not mention the rule enforcement by the police, but refers to the department stores, shops and establishments “insisting” on people to wear masks despite various circulars, communications and clarifications from the government on the issue.
“It is brought to the notice of all establishments and persons that as a rule, everyone need not wear a mask,” the advisory said, listing out the people who are “supposed to” wear a mask. Accordingly, only those, with symptoms of cold, cough, fever or any other respiratory problem; those caring for Covid-19 suspect/patients and health workers attending to patients with respiratory symptoms, have to wear the mask.
The department has further clarified that those treating or handling Covid-19 suspects and patients have to wear N95 mask while others (with symptoms) can wear a triple-layer surgical mask. Masks have become rare commodities with many medical stores running out of stock and others quoting a high price, making them not affordable for the poor.