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CMR-NIV Director, Dr Priya Abraham (Photo/ANI)
CMR-NIV Director, Dr Priya Abraham (Photo/ANI)

Masks curtail COVID-19 spread, don't lower guard, says expert as Maharashtra eases norms

By Shalini Bhardwaj | Updated: Apr 01, 2022 17:34 IST

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], April 1 (ANI): With Maharashtra scrapping COVID-19 restrictions and easing the norm on compulsory wearing of masks in public places, a health expert has emphasised caution noting that masks play a significant role in curtailing transmission of the disease.
Dr Priya Abraham, Director, ICMR-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) said in an exclusive interview with ANI that masks should continue to be worn, especially in crowded or poorly ventilated places.
"I don't think it is time to completely throw precautions away. I personally believe that in any crowded place where we are sitting fairly close to each other or in a poorly ventilated place, we must wear a mask. A mask definitely has a role in curtailing transmission," she said.
She said there is also a need to take care that infection does not spread to vulnerable groups such as senior citizens.
"Most of the time when children pick up an infection, it is mild or asymptomatic. But when a child with infection comes home and if there is an unvaccinated or a sick, older person, they can transmit the infection," Dr Abraham said.
The Maharashtra Government on Thursday announced that all COVID-19 related restrictions including the compulsory wearing of masks in public places will be withdrawn from April 2. It has advised people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour but wearing masks will be optional.
Fines for not wearing masks in public are likely to be done away in Delhi also.
A meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA was held on Thursday and a decision has been taken to do away with a fine for not wearing masks, sources said.
COVID-19 cases in India have declined sharply with 1,335 new cases recorded on Friday.
Maharashtra on Thursday reported 183 new COVID-19 cases, taking the number of active cases to 902. Delhi reported 113 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
China has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases and has put restrictions in its commercial hub of Shanghai to prevent the spread of the disease. (ANI)