New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Director, Dr. Randeep Guleria, has said that wearing masks and maintaining physical distance will have to continue even for people who have been fully vaccinated against Coronavirus. His statement came in the context of the threat posed by mutating virus and concerns regarding vaccine efficacy. His remarks also came a day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks, be it indoors or outdoors. Also Read - Third Wave of Coronavirus May Not Happen at All if...: Govt's Top Scientific Advisor

“I think there is a need to be cautious and at least till we have more data. Keeping in mind that this virus is very clever and keeps mutating, we cannot say what will be the protection from vaccines as far as new emerging variants are concerned. It is better to wear masks and maintain physical distance because no matter what the variants are, masks and physical distancing will protect,” Dr. Guleria told The Times of India.

Earlier, Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan to Centre had grimly warned that the third wave was “inevitable”, although, it had been unclear on what time scale this phase three would occur, he had said. However, two days later he sought to assuage fears saying that the third wave could be prevented if tough measures are followed.

In its latest guidelines, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

The guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorised for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, India today reported 3,26,098 new COVID-19 cases and 3,890 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry data. The active cases in the country now stand at 36,73,802.