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As Omicron spreads, time to upgrade your mask. Why? Experts explain

As Omicron spreads, time to upgrade your mask. Why? Experts explain

The Omicron variant of coronavirus has been spreading across the world – as well as India – at an alarming pace. In just about of month of being confirmed in South Africa, the variant has affected people in more than 100 countries; in India, the tally has already crossed the 400-mark. Also Read | Why do vaccinated people too get Covid? Study explains So, it is time that people upgrade the “universal vaccine” against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) - the humble mask.  Medical Analyst Dr Leana Wen, visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, told CNN that cloth masks are little more than facial decorations, adding that there is no place for them in light of Omicron. What is the correct protection against the highly-mutated variant then? We need to be wearing at least a three-ply surgical mask, Dr Wen said. You can wear a cloth mask on top of that, but do not just wear a cloth mask alone. Erin Bromage, an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, said that cloth masks can filter large droplets. Omicron started to spread across countries like wildfire soon after its detection in South Africa. The Indian government then warned about the decline in usage of face masks across the country. At a press conference on the Covid-19 situation, Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog member (health), said that mask usage is declining in India and people are operating at a “risky and unacceptable” level, stressing that both masks and vaccines are important for protection against coronavirus disease (Covid-19). India has so far recorded more than 430 cases of Omicron, which has 37 mutations – more than any other variant of coronavirus. Due to so many mutations, it is believed to be more resistant to existing vaccines. This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Maharashtra is the biggest contributor to nationwide Omicron tally, followed by national capital Delhi. Rajasthan and Gujarat are jointly at number 3..

world-news 2021-12-29 hindustantimes