DC revises mask-wearing protocol

PSHILLONG, May 4: In view of the fact that mask wearing has been classified as an important strategy to suppress transmission of COVID-19 and save lives, the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner has issued an order restricting use of certain types of masks.
All persons who step out of their homes or move in public or interact with persons not from their household have to ensure that they should wear a three-ply surgical mask or N-95 mask.
Cotton masks, if worn, must be layered with a three-ply surgical mask underneath. Plastic or leather masks or mask made from loosely woven material, knitted masks, masks made of fabric that lets light pass through or masks made with only one layer of fabric are not recommended. All persons using such masks will have to switch to appropriate protective masks at the earliest. The order also states that wearing of mask on chin, lowering of mask while speaking or wearing mask without covering the nose must be avoided at all costs since there is zero protection.
Persons who are mobile or move around frequently are advised to wear masks inside their homes as well, especially when around elderly or co-morbid family members.
Stating that a casual attitude towards proper mask wearing can potentially cause rapid transmission of the virus, hence endangering lives, the order said such violations will considered an offence and necessary action will be taken as deemed fit and proper.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the DC said, “There’s significant community spread already. Everyone, particularly persons who are mobile and meet with others on a daily basis, should consider themselves possible carriers and take pains to avoid contact (Contd on P-4)
DC revises mask-wearing…
(Contd from P-1) or shaking of hands, having tea with others, spending long durations of time in conversation, etc.”
“Mask up and mask up seriously. Urge your acquaintances above 45 years of age to get vaccinated. Educate yourself on home management of a mild infection, do’s and don’ts, how to isolate effectively, etc., and share your knowledge with others,” she added.
Hek upset with people escaping entry point
Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek on Tuesday admitted that many people have managed to escape from the Umling entry point without following proper procedures.
Talking to reporters today, Hek said that it was really unfortunate that people have acted so irresponsibly without realising the gravity of the situation.
“We have taken measures to ensure that no one can escape from the Umling entry point. The concerned DCs have been directed to take stringent action if they come across any such cases in the future,” Hek said.
When contacted, the DC informed that they have traced everyone and all of them have been tested.
Informing that the incident took place two days back, he said that they have been given strict instructions to quarantine adding that Magistrate and Community Covid Management Team (CCMT) are monitoring them.
Hek also informed that the government has not taken any hotel on requisition to be used as quarantine centres for the health workers.
“The expenditures for requisitioning of the hotels last year were huge. So, we have decided to release all the hotels which we had taken on requisition,” Hek told reporters while adding that the department has adopted a policy where the health workers are allowed to go home and quarantine themselves for five days after they have done their duty for a week.
Replying to a query on whether it puts their family members at risk, the minister said that all the health workers have been asked to take precautions and are tested before they go home for five days isolation.
The minister also stated that the government has no plans yet to convert schools as quarantine centres but may explore the option if the situation deteriorates.

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