Masks, limited lockdowns to return if COVID cases shoot up this winter

Representational Photo
Representational Photo

New Delhi, Sep 17: More than three years after the pandemic, as the northern hemisphere moves towards winter and new variants of Covid continue to rise, talks about the return of masks, maintaining personal hygiene and controlled lockdowns are gaining momentum.

The rising Covid cases have already prompted some schools, hospitals and businesses in the US to encourage, or even require, people to start masking up again.

CDC Director Mandy Cohen has cautioned that Covid remains risky for people who are unvaccinated.

The risk is especially high for unvaccinated individuals who haven’t been infected before and those who are older or have underlying health conditions.

Dr Rajkumar, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Delhi, said that even as the emerging new variants of the Covid warrant vigilance, undue worry can be mitigated through informed measures.

“To protect against new variants, maintaining established precautions remains pivotal: getting vaccinated, practicing good hand hygiene, wearing masks in crowded settings, and adhering to local health guidelines,” Rajkumar told IANS.

Timely vaccination, particularly with updated booster shots, bolsters our defenses as well as measures should be taken individually to boost immunity.

“As the situation evolves, public health surveillance, genomic sequencing, and proactive measures will help us navigate the landscape, assuring that our collective efforts continue to mitigate the impact of the present or upcoming variants,” he added.

Public health experts from several prominent universities have suggested that both patients and healthcare professionals should draw upon lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to mask up in the health care setting.

This is important because infection from SARS-CoV-2 is still a threat, especially to the most vulnerable patients, and masks are a proven method for preventing transmission, according to a commentary published in the journal of Annals of Internal Medicine.

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