Mask not mandatory for single person driving car or exercising alone: Health Ministry

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A single person driving a car or a person doing exercise/cycling alone does not have to wear a face mask. However, if there is more than one person in a car and a group of people are exercising then wearing a mask is a must to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. There are no guidelines from the Union Health Ministry on wearing a face mask when a person is driving a car alone or a person is doing an out-door exercising/cycling alone. However, if there is more than one person in a car and a group of people are exercising then wearing a mask is a must to avoid the spread of infection, said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary on Thursday.

Bhushan replied in response to a question raised–if it is mandatory for a person to wear a mask while driving a car alone or a single person doing exercise. “In the last few days, people have gained awareness of the benefits of physical activities. We have seen people are doing cycling and exercise or jogging in groups. It is mandatory for people to wear masks and follow social distancing when they are in a group while exercising or jogging, so that they do not infect each other. If a person is cycling alone, then he does not require to wear a mask as there is no such direction from the health ministry,” said Bhushan during a weekly media briefing on COVID-19 update in India.

In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic in India, the government has made the wearing of mask compulsory for every person as a preventive measure to contain the spread of infection.

According to doctors, people can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to wear a face mask or cover your mouth and practice social distancing.

So far, India has reported 38,53,407 COVID-19 cases, while 67,376 people have died due to the infection. In the last 24 hours, the country has witnessed the biggest jump of 83,883 new coronavirus cases with 1,043 deaths. There are 8,15,538 active cases in the country.

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