The Union Health Ministry has said it has not issued any directions that say wearing a mask is mandatory if someone is driving a car alone.
Image for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)
The Union Health Ministry today clarified it has not issued any directions asking people to wear masks if they are driving a car alone. Addressing a press briefing on the Covid-19 situation in India, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan added that while it is important to wear masks when cycling and jogging in groups, the health ministry has not issued any guidelines mandating use of masks if someone is cycling alone.
Speaking about the coronavirus situation in India, he said 62 per cent of all active Covid-19 cases in India are presently confined to five states. These are: Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Among these, Maharashtra has the highest share in active cases (25 per cent), and the state also accounts for 37 per cent of the total Covid-19 deaths in India.
Responding to a question about the government’s decision of opening up of economic activities at a time when India is recording more than 70,000 cases everyday, the health ministry said the central government has adopted a graded approach to opening up of activities.
“We have ensured pre-requisites infrastructure and services. The government has issued clear guidelines on standard clinical protocol for Covid-19 patients. There are adequate number of ICU and isolation bedsand testing has been boosted. Only after ensuring these pre-requisites, the government has gone for a graded opening up of the economy,” the health ministry said, adding that the government believes that while lives are important, livelihood too is important.
Besides this, the health ministry said so far, India has conducted 4.50 crore tests. “There is an exponential increase in the daily Covid-19 testing in the country. Over 11.7 lakh (11,72,179) tests were done in the last 24 hours,” the health secretary said.
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