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Indian government alarmed by decline in mask use in country, asks people to follow Covid rules, India News News

The government sounded the alarm on the decline in mask use in India on Friday and urged people to maintain appropriate Covid behavior amid concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid strain in the country .

The warning from the Ministry of Health comes as 25 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected so far in India.

Referring to an assessment by the Institute of Health Metrics, NITI Aayog (Health) member Dr VK Paul, at a press conference, said mask use in the country had dropped to levels of ‘before the second wave and “in a way we have entered a danger zone again”.

The use of masks is on the decline, he said, adding that “from the point of view of protective capacity, we are now operating at a low level … at a risky and unacceptable level.”

“We have to remember that vaccines and masks are important,” said Paul while stressing that people need to learn from the global situation.

Read also | Omicron variant proves Covid pandemic is just beginning, warns British scientist

“The WHO warns against the decline in the use of masks. Omicron’s global scene is worrying … We are now operating at a risky and unacceptable level. We have to remember that vaccines and masks are important, ”said Paul.

The government said on Friday that 25 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus had been detected in India so far and that mild symptoms had been noted in all cases.

The government said the treatment protocol for the Omicron variant remains the same.

Read also | Omicron could cause third wave in India by February, scientist warns

Clinically, Omicron is not yet a burden on the healthcare system, but vigilance must be maintained, the government said.

Since November 25, the Minister of Health has been holding daily review meetings on various aspects of preparedness for COVID-19, including the new “variant of concern,” said Omicron, co-secretary at the Ministry of Health. of the Union, Lav Agarwal.

The health ministry said the overall positivity rate in the country was 0.73% last week. Less than 10,000 cases have been reported in the past 14 days.

Active cases are highest in two states – Kerala and Maharashtra with over 43% active cases in the former and over 10% in the latter, Agarwal said.

(With contributions from agencies)

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