Haryana, Kerala and Puducherry have made wearing masks mandatory in public places amid a rise in coronavirus cases in the country, NDTV reported on Sunday.
While in Puducherry, the guidelines will be applicable all across the Union Territory, Haryana has made masks mandatory at gatherings of more than 100 persons. Kerala said that masks are mandatory for pregnant women, the elderly and people with lifestyle diseases.
On Sunday, India recorded 5,357 cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally since the pandemic began in January 2020 to 4.47 crore.
The number of deaths due to Covid-19 also reached 5,30,965 after nine deaths were reported since Saturday. The number of active Covid-19 infections in the country stood at 32,814, showed data from the Union health ministry.
On Friday, Union Health Minister Mansukh had held a review meeting with all states and Union Territories and asked them to stay alert. He had also announced a nationwide mock drill on April 10 and April 11 at health facilities to review their preparedness.
On Saturday, the Haryana government urged residents of the state to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks and social distancing.
“Wearing face masks will be made mandatory in the state, especially in crowded areas where the gathering is expected to be above 100 persons to prevent the spread of Covid infection,” Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said, according to The Indian Express. “Apart from this, it has been made mandatory for all health workers in the state to wear masks.”
Vij also announced that Covid tests will be mandatory for patients arriving at the hospital with a cough and cold. District administrations and panchayats have been instructed to ensure that the rule is implemented in all parts of Haryana.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Saturday that 1,801 new Covid cases were reported in the state in the last 24 hours. The most number of cases were reported in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kottayam districts.
George said that most Covid-related deaths were reported in people above 60 years and those with co-morbidities, reported PTI.
“Special care should be given to bedridden patients and elderly people at home,” she said. “Those who have the elderly and bedridden or those affected with lifestyle diseases at home, should strictly take extra care and use masks and wash their hands with soap.”
The health minister also directed her department to ensure the availability of oxygen at hospitals and said that a special meeting with private hospitals will be held soon, according to NDTV.
On Friday, the Puducherry administration announced that face masks are compulsory in all public places with immediate effect.
District Collector E Vallavan said that masks are mandatory for staff of hospitals, hotels, bars, restaurants, liquor shops, hospitality and entertainment sector, government offices, and business as well as commercial establishments, reported The New Indian Express.
“In all government and private establishments, 100% vaccination of staff must be ensured,” he said.