While the US government came up with revised masking guidance and recommendations, the majority of Indians are still roaming mask free unaware of the consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday recommended that even fully vaccinated people in Covid hot spots should start wearing masks. The Director of CDC, Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH made the decision after new evidence on the Delta variant suggested that vaccinated people who are infected with Covid-19 might carry similar levels of virus to those who are unvaccinated.
Walensky further stated that the CDC had lifted the mask mandate earlier in May accounting for low rates of infection and transmission among vaccinated individuals; however, the Delta variant now accounts for 83 percent of infections. Hence, it was of prime importance to advice people to start wearing masks again and make it a mandate.
While the US and India have been the worst-hit countries affected by Covid-19, the US has yet again surpassed India in Covid-19 cases. This poses a threat to India as well as it has a potential risk of encountering the third wave of Covid with a big surge in daily cases and considering its population. Despite being guided by WHO and the central government, still, many Indians continue to roam without masks putting their own lives as well as others at risk.
A report by the Union Health Ministry in May 2021 revealed that 64 percent of the population wearing masks cover the mouth but not the nose, 20 percent wear it on the chin, two percent wear it on the neck while just 14 percent wear them correctly. Many public health experts emphasised the fact that if people do not follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, the third wave in India is inevitable. Hence, it is crucial to not assume anything and make all efforts that are in our control to prevent the third wave.