Telangana Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said that wearing of masks is a ‘personal choice’ from now onwards for everyone other than elderly persons above 60 years of age and those with comorbidities.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, 31 March, DPH Srinivasa Rao said the COVID-19 situation is fully under control in the state with only 30-40 cases being reported daily.
People Advised To Take Individual Responsibility
Noting that most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted by the Union government, he said, “Although there are no restrictions, we must take individual and social responsibility.
Especially when it comes to masking, those above 60 years of age and those with comorbidities or chronic illnesses, when they go to hospitals, it’s better to wear masks.”
He added that even among the general population, the rules continue to say that masks are mandatory. “But since it cannot be enforced on all, please advise people to take individual responsibility. Especially when you go to crowded places like malls, markets, you are requested to wear a mask. It’s your personal choice, for those who are not elderly and don’t have comorbidities,” he said.
He said that although the mask rule is still in place in Telangana, over the past two years that masks have been mandatory, people have lost out on a lot in social interactions, unable to discern other people’s emotions through their facial expressions.
“As an epidemiologist, I would suggest wearing a mask whenever needed. But right now, I would say people above 60 years of age, people going to hospitals, such people must wear the mask always. Also when people go into massive gatherings. Rest of the time, it’s up to you. It’s optional,” he said. “A fine of Rs 1,000 is still in place (for not wearing a mask in public places), I request the police department to let it slide,” he added.
Telangana COVID Tally
Telangana on Thursday, 31 March, recorded just 31 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total caseload to 7.91 lakh. No fresh fatality occurred due to the infectious disease and the death toll continued to be 4,111.
A Health Department bulletin said 73 people recuperated from the infection and the cumulative number of recoveries to date was 7.86 lakh. The recovery rate stood at 99.42 percent. Hyderabad reported the highest number with 23 cases.
The bulletin said 18,244 samples were tested in the state on Thursday. The number of active cases was 420, it said.
The case fatality rate in the state was 0.51 percent. Out of the total 33 districts, over 20 districts are witnessing zero cases, while six-seven districts reported only one or two cases, he said. There is a possibility of the state recording zero cases in the future, the DPH added.
However, the threat of COVID-19 has not fully gone and the citizens should follow COVID-appropriate behaviour though no major restrictions are in place, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)