Health Ministry expresses concern over declining mask usage

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Friday expressed serious concern over the declining trends of mask usage in the country even amid Omicron threat, citing a recently conducted survey which outlined that this has significantly dropped from September ownwards.

“Mask usage is declining in India. We have to remember that both vaccines and masks are important. As far as protection capability is concerned, we are now operating at a risky and unacceptable level. We should learn from the global situation,” NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr V.K. Paul said, Member-Health, NITI Aayog.

He said that the World Health Organisation has warned many times against the decline in mask usage.

The global scene of Omicron is disturbing, said Paul, adding that the protocol against Omicron is same as the other variants, of following the Covid Appropriate Behavior.

On the question of paediatric vaccine, he said that no recommendation has been made yet by the NTAGI.

Indian Council of Medical Research Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, said that new Covid variant Omicron is not posing any burdeon clinically now on the healthcare system but there is a need to maintain vigil.

“Regular meetings are being organised to keep a watch on global scenario with a focus on Omicron. We need help to not spread panic,” he said.

Meanwhile, India has vaccinated more than half of the adult population in the country with both doses.

(IANS)

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