Lackadaisical attitude among people on wearing masks

Volunteers at a rally organised by district administration in Dindigul last week seen without masks.

Volunteers at a rally organised by district administration in Dindigul last week seen without masks. | Photo Credit: KARTHIKEYAN G

Despite COVID-19 cases on the rise across the State and in Dindigul, mask-wearing practice has been waning among the public.

“We are being checked for wearing masks at the entrance of the Collectorate building, but the laxity prevails inside the building among fellow petitioners, public and even the government staff,” said farmer from R. Kombai who was present at the recently held farmers’ grievances redressal meeting.

Many government staff during the meeting were caught flouting the mandatory mask rule or sporting them well below the chin, thus defying the very purpose.

T. Rajkumar, a TNSTC conductor on a bus plying from Madurai to Dindigul, said there is lack of strict enforcement on mask-wearing from the officials’ side. “People seem to have forgotten how much difficulty we faced when COVID-19 cases peaked. As a person who has first-hand knowledge of being affected with COVID-19, I always carry a couple of masks with me,” he said.

He called for bringing back the old rule of “no mask, no entry into buses” and imposing strict fines for people to adhere to rules, he added.

At many government functions held recently, mask-wearing and social-distancing norms went for a toss, especially in cramped public places, and a few which were held in educational institutions. It was no different a scene, during the protests staged by various political parties, organisations as well as the public.

Speaking to The Hindu, Corporation Commissioner S. Sivasubramanian said that the sanitary inspectors have been directed to impose fines on people for non-wearing of masks, especially in crowded places. “We need to avoid COVID-19 clusters. Hence officials have been instructed to concentrate on enforcing mask-wearing in air-conditioned commercial establishments, social gathering in a closed hall, fish markets etc,” he said.

According to Superintendent of Police V. Baskaran, police personnel are currently engaged in creating awareness and reiterating the importance of wearing masks among the people.

“We have achieved a whopping 108 per cent in the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the second dose stood at 99 per cent in Dindigul Corporation,” said Mr Sivasubramian. He added that 85 per cent of frontline and people above the age of 60 years have received the booster shot and 85 per cent of students between the age of 15 to 18 have taken the first and second dose.

He assured necessary steps will be taken to curb further spread of COVID-19.

Dr. A. Srinivasan, Block Medical Officer, Thadikombu, said that adhering to COVID-19-appropriate behaviour is a must as the pandemic is not over yet. “People must voluntarily mask-up while in public places and must avoid attending large social gatherings. We must take hand-washing techniques seriously,” he said.

He added that even otherwise, masking up in crowded places has proven effective in preventing upper-respiratory infections.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 12:09:49 am |