New Delhi: Calling to wear masks always, even inside the home and discourage people from visiting homes are NITI Aayog's new advisory to people to curb the spread of COVID cases. The new note of caution came amid the concerns over the reports that the virus could remain in the air in the form of an aerosol.
Speaking at a Union Health Ministry press meet, the Niti Aayog's member health, Dr V K Paul said, "Please wear a mask, do not go out unnecessarily. Stay with your family. Even within the family wear the mask. Please don't invite anyone to your home. This is not the time to do so. Take all possible care within the home. Protect yourselves and your family members."
Referring to studies, Joint Secretary Union Health Ministry, Luv Aggarwal said, "By not following physical distancing one infected person could infect 406 people in 30 days. Reducing physical exposure by 50 per cent, one person can only infect 15 people in 30 days. Reducing the physical exposure by 75 per cent, one infected person can only infect 2.5 people in 30 days."
He said that people must understand the importance of following Covid appropriate behaviour in controlling and managing the infection. He pointed out that a mask coupled with physical distancing can lower the transmission risk.
"Both a Covid infected person and the uninfected person not wearing a mask or maintaining physical distance have 90 per cent risk of virus transmission. There is a 30 per cent risk of transmission when the infected person is not wearing a mask and the infected person is wearing a mask. There is a medium risk (five per cent) of transmission when an infected person is wearing the mask and uninfected is not wearing," Aggarwal said.
He stated: "Transmission risk becomes low (1.5 per cent) when both the people are wearing the mask. There is the negligible or lowest risk when both (infected and uninfected person) is wearing a mask and maintaining the physical distance of six feet."
Dr Paul clarified that women can take the Covid vaccine during their menstrual cycle. "Yes, women can and should take the vaccine during the menstrual cycle. There is no reason to postpone the vaccination," Paul said.
AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that unnecessary panic among people is creating a rush at hospitals, shortage of drugs and oxygen. "Unnecessary panic causing rush outside hospitals, shortage of essential drugs and oxygen. Misuse of oxygen is a major factor. If the saturation is 94 per cent or above, then there's no need to worry," Guleria added.
Aggarwal said, "Maharashtra has the highest active caseload with 7,00,207 active cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Most of the states have crossed their highest reported daily cases during September last year."
"Eight states -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu -- have more than 100,000 active Covid-19 cases," he said.
He explained that the union government is working on three strategies to contain the virus spread -- Containment, Clinical Management and Community Engagement -- across the country.
(with inputs from IANS)