India

‘Half of India isn’t wearing a mask’: Health ministry cites Covid-19 study – Hindustan Times

The Union health ministry said on Thursday that 50 per per cent of the country’s population isn’t wearing a mask, as it shared an update about Covid-19 situation in India. At the media briefing, health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that eight states have more than 1 lakh active cases of Covid-19, nine states have 50,000 to 1 lakh active cases and 19 states have less than 50,000 active cases of the infection.

The ministry’s statement on facial masks is based on a survey carried out in 25 cities, which involved 2,000 respondents.

According to the survey, cited by the health ministry and posted on Twitter by the ministry of information and broadcasting, of the 50 per cent people who do not wear mask, 64 per cent cover mouth but not nose, 20 per cent have it on chin and two per cent on the neck.

Only 14 per cent people wear the mask correctly, said the survey, which covers nose, mouth, chin and with a clip on the nose.

Agarwal, meanwhile, said that seven states in the country have more than 25 per cent positivity rate, while nine states have between 20-25 positivity rate. Twenty-two states have more than 15 per cent positivity rate, 13 states have five to 15 per cent positivity rate and one state has less than five per cent positivity, he added.

Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram are states showing a rise in cases and rise in positivity in last three weeks, the health ministry official said.

He also said that India has witnessed a consistent upward trend in weekly tests since mid-February with average daily tests increased by 2.3 times in last 12 weeks.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava, who was also present at the briefing, said that 2,553 government and private Covid testing laboratories have been established across the country in the last 16 months.

The remark came on a day when more than 20.55 lakh tests were conducted in India in a span of 24 hours, the highest ever conducted in a single day in the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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