Saturday Aug 13, 2022
Saturday Aug 13, 2022

Indian mandate means masks are all over the place


Nepalnews
2022 Feb 01, 12:44, New Delhi
A man wears his face mask below his nose and walks in a market area with a traditional percussion instrument in Jammu, India, Saturday, Jan.15, 2022. Photo: AP

It’s mandatory to wear a mask in India. And police are out on the streets, watching people to make sure they are in place.

People caught without wearing a mask are fined. Some local governments, like the one in the capital New Delhi, have recruited new staff to ensure the rules are followed.


People ride a scooter wearing their face masks on their chins in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. It’s mandatory to wear a mask in India. 
Photo: AP
People ride a scooter wearing their face masks on their chins in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. It’s mandatory to wear a mask in India. Photo: AP
An Indian policeman rests his mask on his head during a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday.
Photo: AP
An Indian policeman rests his mask on his head during a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday. Photo: AP

But the scrutiny doesn’t extend to the type of mask that is worn, nor the safety criteria. Some people wear N95 masks, which is considered the best protection against the coronavirus, and some wear surgical masks. But more common are cloth masks — which are less effective against the ultra-contagious omicron variant. They’re made of different fabrics — cotton, silk, even porous muslin.


People travel on a local train, many wearing their face masks below their noses, in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.
Photo: AP
People travel on a local train, many wearing their face masks below their noses, in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Photo: AP
A woman speaks on a phone, her face mask resting on her chin, at a vaccination centre in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. 
Photo: AP
A woman speaks on a phone, her face mask resting on her chin, at a vaccination centre in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Photo: AP

Atul Teron, 52, said he can’t buy a mask in his village and that he’d rather tie a scarf around his face. “My traditional scarf gives more protection than the other masks,” he said.

Most people in India say they wear masks to avoid paying fines. And, consequently, masks loll on chins, hang below the nose and sometimes rest atop heads like eyeglasses.

India is averaging more than 250,000 new infections daily, with omicron driving the infections. The surge is highlighting a need for a renewed emphasis on masks and, importantly, how best to wear them.

Two women speak with their masks hanging on their chins in Jammu, India, Thursday, Jan.13, 2022.
Photo: AP
Two women speak with their masks hanging on their chins in Jammu, India, Thursday, Jan.13, 2022. Photo: AP

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