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Face masks are 'not going anywhere' through 2022, says NITI Aayog's V K Paul

The veteran paediatrician also warned that the country is entering a risky period as the festival season starts
Last Updated : 14 September 2021, 10:18 IST
Last Updated : 14 September 2021, 10:18 IST

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NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul said that face masks to protect against Covid-19 are not going away any time soon, warning of a risky period ahead as the festive season approaches.

In an interview with NDTV, Paul said, "Wearing the mask will not go away...for some time. We will continue to wear the mask even through the next year. My view is that it will be a combination of vaccines, drugs, and reasonably disciplined behaviour that will finally (see us through).”

Paul said that a third wave is possible and the next three-four months are key. "It (third wave) cannot be ruled out. There is a period of the next three-four months when the vaccine is rolling up to build the Great Wall of herd immunity. We need to protect ourselves and avoid the outbreak. To me, that is possible if we are all together in this show," Paul said.

Paul warned that upcoming festivals of Dussehra and Diwali, if not managed well, may lead to massive outbreaks. "We have a risky period coming forward. There are ways to ward off the virus, in theory, in such a situation. And there are guidelines that are available to invoke restrictions in a graded manner. And they should be invoked when the time comes," he said.

Timely intervention on the part of the administration and the people above which can and should and will avoid any significant outbreak, he said.

Paul expects the WHO's approval for Covaxin to come by the end of this month.

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Published 14 September 2021, 08:48 IST

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