At least 85% – 90% of the people are aware of the need to wear masks to protect themselves as well as their loved ones from being attacked by this disastrous Covid-19 virus, but still, only 44% of India are completely compliant in terms of wearing masks correctly and in all relevant situations which are found by a survey conducted.
Despite the Covid having ravaged India toppled our healthcare system and snatched so many loved ones, a lot of people continue to flout protocol concerning face masks (the only credible protection we have to combat the virus, apart from soap/sanitizer and social distancing). Masks are still used either as ‘chin protectors’ or not being worn at all, thereby throwing caution to the wind about their own safety and that of the public.
The nationwide survey by ApnaMask, which is an initiative by EkDeshby a Bengaluru-based organization was conducted across 18 cities in July 2020 among close to 2000 people to understand the overall compliance around wearing of masks. Following the survey, ApnaMask has started pan India campaign called “Corona Soldiers”. Corona Soldiers pledge to wear masks every time they step out of their homes and also encourage others to do the same, said Poonal Kaul – The Co-Founder of EkDesh. So far they have identified 2 lakh plus “corona soldiers”.
As the country’s numbers continue to rise, wearing a mask properly, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene will be the three essentials of prevention of COVID-19. According to Shekhar Kirani, Founding Member ACT Grant and Partner Accel Ventures said, “While India has steadily moved towards unlocking, battling the pandemic needs a unified effort by the authorities at one level and citizens at another level to help control the spread. There is global evidence that face masks help in the slow down of COVID-19 spread. In India, our survey findings have revealed that while there is a high level of awareness around wearing a mask, the compliance is very low or flawed.
Findings show that 90% of respondents are aware of all the guidelines issued by the Government of India as well as other organizations to protect from covid-19 infection. However, when it came to overall practice, compliance was low, especially among the lower social strata. Interestingly, only around 44% are completely compliant in terms of wearing it correctly and in all relevant situations.
HOW TO ENCOURAGE FLOATERS TO WEAR MASKS??
Dr. Preeti Singh, Senior Consultant Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, says it’s high time people understand the role of double masking if they want to stop crashing the medical facilities at such a large scale. Suggesting solutions, Singh adds, “First and foremost, a penalty needs to be fixed for the defaulters. Apart from that, Awareness camps by NGOs, volunteers and the government should be conducted to create awareness, and parents and elders at home can play a significant key role in educating younger ones”.