Covid Restrictions: With the cases gradually coming down in the country and Telangana state, it has been decided to do away with all the Covid-19 restrictions. The Union government had announced that it was removing the Disaster Management Act which was in implementation since two years, but insisted that people wear mask and maintain physical distancing.
Meanwhile states have been asked to follow their own rules to bring back life to normalcy. While states like Maharashtra has decided to remove the mask rule also, West Bengal has revoked all the Covid restrictions in its state. Meanwhile in Telangana, Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao shared his opinion that masking can now be optional for people to follow, but something they must adhere to in their own interest.
He stated that as per the State government and GoI rules, masks are mandatory at public places including malls/halls and gatherings be it religious, political, social functions, workplaces and all places with possibility of crowding like buses/trains/planes, etc. However, with a decline in cases, it could be made into an optional choice for individuals especially if they are not in congested public spaces.
“As of now, the earlier Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) guidelines will hold good. It is a different matter if the public and the regulatory authorities have become lax,” said Dr Srinivasa Rao. He further stated that going by the current trends it appears that Covid-19 is over. “Nobody can exactly predict the mutations and emergence of new variants of any virus, leave alone Covid.
But, based on the trends, previous tendencies and international and national studies, it seems that Covid is over for good as there are less than 100 cases per day, minimal hospitalisations and nil deaths. Even if a Covid-19 infection occurs, it might be a simple infection like Omicron,” said the DPH.
Further, when asked about the recent IIT Kanpur studies which seem to indicate an impending fourth wave he said, “Mathematical models may not be very apt for diseases, especially Covid-19, which has behaved very erratically in its spread, evolution etc and differs from country to country and from person to person. Of course, the models will help for better preparedness, which we already are.”
Dr Srinivasa Rao further stated that as a public health specialist, his recommended CAB was wearing masks in crowded public spaces, avoiding big gatherings and having hand hygiene.