People must wear face masks: Div Com

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At a time when the number of COVID positive cases in Kashmir is increasing at an alarming rate, the divisional administration has urged people to use face masks particularly at public places.

The COVID positive cases have breached 8,000 mark in J&K.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Pole, said: “People must wear facemasks for their own safety and for the safety of their loved ones.”

The Div Com said that the administration through different mediums is reaching out to people to make them aware about the benefits of face covering during the pandemic.  “Even in far-flung areas like Tangadhar, our officials are asking the people to use face masks at public places and there is good response.”

Apart from awareness, the administration is also using “punitive measures so that it could act as deterrent for others who roam around without face masks,” Pole said, adding that he would appeal people to follow government’s SOPs in order to stop spread of this infection.

It may be mentioned that the authorities in the summer capital of J&K here had made wearing facemasks mandatory at all public places from May 1.  Although the district administration here had announced that each family in Srinagar would be given 5 masks, people here complain they did not receive any mask from the government.

Traders’ take

Meanwhile, the local business community and traders’ bodies too have urged people to wear facemasks at public places.

Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, said: “It is painful to see some people at public places without facemasks. They should realise by not wearing facemasks, they are not only putting themselves to risk, but are also exposing others to the danger of the virus.”

He said that the business community has promised the administration that traders will adhere to SOPs which include mandatory wearing of facemasks.

Khan, who also heads Kashmir Traders’ and Manufacturers’ Federation, said that all the traders and shopkeepers have been asked to ensure wearing of facemasks and also advice customers to do the same.

WHO recommends:

Pertinently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that facemask should be worn at public where social distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

According WHO website, the global body has said that new information showed the facemasks could provide “a barrier for potentially infectious droplets”.