Even as the health apparatus in the State is on an alert to fight a new strain of the novel coronavirus, a survey held in the State capital has found that around 25% of people still do not use face masks. Among those who use the masks, 30% of men and 11% of women do not use them properly.
According to functionaries of the Campaign Against Pseudo Science Using Law and Ethics (CAPSULE), Kerala, a wing of the Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad, the survey was held to gauge people’s alertness level.
As many 1,017 people in 11 locations in Thiruvananthapuram city were covered. One volunteer each was assigned for the purpose between January 2 and January 4. A total of 403 men (67.5%) and 363 women (86.4%) were using the face masks properly. As many as 179 men (30%) and 46 women (11%) were using the masks without covering their nose and mouth. Fifteen men (2.5%) and 11 women (2.6%) did not have face masks at all. In total, only 75.3% of the respondents were sticking to correct use.
Some still lax
U. Nandakumar and M.P. Anil Kumar, chairman and convener, CAPSULE, Kerala, pointed out that the survey showed that at least some people were still lax towards observing personal protection measures. “There is nothing wrong in people coming out in public places as the restrictions on physical gathering have been eased now. Indications, however, are that Kerala might witness another wave of infection with the discovery of the new strain of the virus, which is reportedly more transmissible. Against this backdrop, we need to maintain physical distancing, wear face masks and wash our hands regularly until vaccine is made available to all,” they said. The CAPSULE functionaries claimed that institutions such as the World Health Organisation, the Mayo Clinic and the University of California in the U.S. had done studies on how the proper use of face masks can help reduce the spread of the infection.