The Indian government on Monday said it's time people started wearing masks inside their homes as well to keep the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at bay as the country is battling the second wave of the pandemic.
"It's time people start wearing masks inside their homes as well," said Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog's member (health), while briefing the press.
The statement comes at a time when India is dealing with the deadlier, more infectious new wave of the pandemic, with hospitals in several states across the country reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of the rising number of infections.
In view of the worsening oxygen crisis in India, the central government said that rational use of oxygen is important, as are appropriate prescriptions for drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab. Dr Randeep Guleria, the chief of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, said that "misuse" of oxygen is a major factor contributing to "unnecessary panic" among people over oxygen, causing a rush outside hospitals and a shortage of essential drugs and oxygen. "If the saturation is 94% or above, then there's no need to worry," the doctor said during a press briefing over the ongoing Covid-19 situation in the country.
To drive home the idea that the second wave of the pandemic is considerably more infectious than the last, officials from the Union health ministry said that inability to follow proper physical distancing measures can result in one individual infecting 406 people in the span of just 30 days. Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog's member (health), urged citizens to not go out until absolutely necessary and wear masks even when amongst family members. He also cautioned against inviting outsiders into family homes.
India's new coronavirus infections hit a record peak for a fifth day on Monday, as countries including Britain, Germany, and the United States pledged to send urgent medical aid to help battle the crisis overwhelming its hospitals.
Meanwhile, India on Monday recorded more than 300,000 daily Covid-19 cases for the fifth day in a row, reaching a new record peak. Ten states—Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh—account for 74.5% of the total Covid-19 recoveries in India. Daily infections, recorded in the past 24 hours, rose to 352,991, with overcrowded hospitals in Delhi reportedly turning away patients after running out of supplies of medical oxygen and beds. Several countries, including Britain, Germany, and the United States have pledged to send urgent medical aid to help tackle the crisis that is overwhelming India's hospitals.