Centre's Principal Scientific Advisor Vijay Raghavan emphasised on Saturday that people should continue to wear masks irrespective of whether they are vaccinated or not. This comes two days after the US tweaked its policy allowing fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing masks in most places. According to Raghavan, people in India should continue to observe physical distancing and ensure adequate ventilation at the personal and community level amid the second wave of COVID-19. He opined that these measures will help lower pressure on the healthcare system. 

The US eases mask-wearing advice

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people who have been administered both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will no longer need to maintain social distancing and wear masks barring for crowded places such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that the policy change was owing to the fact that millions of persons have been inoculated. While over 117 million Americans are fully vaccinated, about 154 million individuals i.e 46% of the country's population have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Walensky remarked. She added, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic". The US' step is poised to clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues. 

Coronavirus vaccination in India

A total of 13,98,65,001 persons have been inoculated in India till now, 3,97,87,122 of them have received the second dose of the vaccine too. The Union government has asserted that over 216 crore doses of vaccines will be manufactured in India between August and December. This includes COVISHIELD (75 crore doses), COVAXIN (55 crore doses), Bio E Sub Vaccine (30 crore doses), Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine (5 crore doses), SII-Novavax (20 crore doses), BB Nasal Vaccine (10 crore doses), Genova mRNA vaccine (6 crore doses) and Sputnik V (15.6 crore doses). This is expected to give a huge fillip to the vaccination drive in India. 

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