Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country, wearing of masks in crowded places could be made mandatory again in Maharashtra, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to hold a meeting with the district collectors in the state to discuss the issue with them, he said.
"I feel this decision (about making wearing of masks compulsory in public places) could be taken after the meeting,” Tope told reporters.
He said Delhi has made masks mandatory and is even imposing a fine of Rs 500.
Even masks restrictions are back in district of Uttar Pradesh adjoining Delhi, he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Maharashtra had done away all the COVID-19 related restrictions on April 2 on the occasion of Gudhi Padwa, the Marathi New Year.However, Tope had then urged people to wear masks voluntarily to prevent the spread of COVID-19.