Andhra Pradesh

Don’t neglect wearing masks, say experts

The steep decline in COVID-19 cases seems to have developed a sense of complacency among people. One can find people moving in public places without masks, without any care for their own safety as also that of others. They seem to be under the impression that the pandemic threat has gone.

Medical experts, however, warn that the threat is far from over and advise wearing masks, observing social distance and other COVID-19 protocols for at least three more months. “I have seen about 75% of visitors on Beach Road are not wearing masks, while 15% are wearing it improperly on their necks and only 10% are wearing them correctly,” says P.V. Sudhakar, Principal, Andhra Medical College.

The drop in the sales of masks and personal protective equipment is also an indication of the discontinuation of the usage of masks. Cloth masks used to be sold at most street corners and beside the National Highway in the city but they seem to be hardly any such street vendors now.

“The sale of masks, sanitisers and hand gloves has dropped drastically during the last two months. We used to sell over 1,000 surgical masks and over 200 N 95 masks, a month till November, but the sale dropped drastically,” says Yuvraj of Think Safe, a personal protective equipment dealer, at Sheelanagar.

“Those going to the airport to travel abroad make it a point to buy masks as they will be denied entry without masks. Only a few local students and residents of Sheelanagar continue to come to us to buy masks,” he says.

“There are hardly any sales of masks during the past few months. We depend only on orders from hospitals,” says K. Subba Rao, proprietor of Kiran Surgicals, located at Collectorate junction. “The wearing of masks should be continued for at least three to four months. This is because even after administration of vaccine, one should be careful for 42 days and even after that a booster dose may be required. It is therefore inevitable to wear masks even after taking the vaccine, for some more time,” says K. Rambabu, State COVID-19 coordinator.

“The second dose of the vaccine has to be administered, 28 days after the first dose. It will take another two weeks for the recipient to develop immunity. In the meantime, if the person stops using a mask in public places, he/she will blame the vaccine, if they develop COVID-19 again,” says Dr. Sudhakar.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 12:45:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/dont-neglect-wearing-masks-say-experts/article33590475.ece

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