Masks Not Always Required For the Public Says Govt & ICMR
“There are no scientific studies to show the health benefits of wearing a mask for non-sick persons,” said ICMR.
How can you protect yourself in this pandemic?
Staying home, maintaining hand hygiene and wearing masks?
In a press brief to the media on Tuesday, 31 March, the government and ICMR clarified that mask usage was not necessarily always helpful to the general public.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) said that,
“The government requests people to follow this advice: not everyone has to wear a mask all the time. There are clearly defined guidelines to follow on when the appropriate time is to wear a mask, like if one is visiting a crowded area or a hospital or when one feels unwell and is coughing.”
ICMR’s Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar added that, “There are no scientific studies to show the health benefits of wearing a mask for non-sick persons.”
The main idea is to wear a mask when the risk of contact or exposure is high, and it is worn to prevent the touching of your hands to your nose or face then.
“We suggest social distancing as a more appropriate method,” said the government.
Agarwal also had a message to the media persons covering COVID-19 press briefs or events who wore masks. “This is not neccesary, please don’t communicate fear and panic by the use of masks.”
Meanwhile, there are various reports from hosptials across the ountry that heathcare workers are running out of essecntial protective equipment like masks.
Agarwal urged the public to use discretion while purchasing and buying masks, saying,
“Masks are a scarce commodity and many healthcare professionals need it more. For the general public, only wear masks when following the guidelines and when needed.”Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW)
What about the innovative DIY masks and reports of homemade masks being used as a substitute?
Agarwal added that these need to be technically examined for quality and only then can be recommended by the government.
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