Reacting to the development, renowned virologist T Jacob John said since the pandemic is “over” in India, the use of mask is no longer needed to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The mask mandate has lived its time and there is no longer justification for its continuation as “mandate”.
But it is a good idea to promote the voluntary wearing of masks in public places to reduce inhalation of dust and other respiratory transmitted agents, including TB bacilli, flu virus, other respiratory viruses like syncytial virus, adenovirus, common cold viruses etc, he said.
“It is a habit that will reduce diseases. Currently, we see kidney transplant patients wearing masks; everyone will benefit — in buses, trains, aeroplanes etc,” John, the former director of the Indian Council for Medical Research’s Centre of Advanced Research in Virology, told PTI.
“My personal opinion is that there ought to be active promotion of mask-wearing in all hospital premises, in outpatient clinics and all queues and waiting areas. There I am not averse to even a mandate. For staff and patients, relatives, visitors etc,” John added.
Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Additional Director and Head of the Department – Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, said mask should continue to be mandatory and it is premature to give up this habit completely.