ITANAGAR, Apr 18: The Indian Medical Association’s Arunachal chapter (IMA-AP) has emphasized on using facemasks or face covers while speaking, coughing or sneezing, in order to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Welcoming the state government’s initiative of making wearing face masks and covers compulsory in all public places, the IMA-AP reiterated that “using facemasks would reduce virus transmission by 80 percent.”
“It is necessary to cover the portion of your nose and mouth by even a simple double-layered handkerchief or homemade masks, especially when you are coughing or speaking. The masks or covers form a protective layer, so that the aerosols do not get dispersed in the air,” said IMA-AP president, Dr Lobsang Tsetim.
He reminded that it is equally necessary to maintain overall personal hygiene and physical distancing to reduce virus transmission.
Dr Tsetim informed that the IMA-AP has procured 20,000 masks, of which about 18,000 have already been distributed in the capital complex.
The IMA and the Arunachal Cancer Society are also conducting an information, education and communication (IEC) programme, focusing on creating awareness regarding the coronavirus, in various colonies.
“The IEC programme is combined with free mask distribution, mask etiquette, and how to wear them. The people, particularly labourers, are sensitized to the need to wear facemasks or covers while maintaining personal hygiene,” Dr Tsetim informed.
The district units of the IMA-AP are also being supported by local NGOs in the ‘Mask4Arunachal’ campaign.
Districts such as East Kameng, Tawang, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit, Lower and Upper Subansiri, and East and West Siang have also begun their own masks campaigns.
On 17 April, the state government made it mandatory to wear face masks or covers when stepping outside of homes, under the Arunachal Pradesh Epidemic Disease (Prevention of Covid-19) Regulation, 2020.
Anybody found violating the order will face action as per the regulation, or will have to pay a penalty of Rs 100 for each violation.
The capital complex administration has also prohibited spitting in all public spaces. Violation will attract fines.