New Delhi: As India enters the festival season, a survey by a digital community-based platform that has measured basic COVID-19 safeguards found that only 13% people rated mask compliance in their area and district as effective while just 6% termed social distancing norms as beneficial.Also Read - 'You Can Not Board Mumbai Local Trains if ...', Maharashtra Govt's BIG Decision Every Mumbaikar Should Know

The survey by LocalCircles, which received 65,000 responses from citizens residing in 366 districts of India, found out how people were complying to mask and social distancing protocols in cities and districts, while travelling in flights/airports, trains/railway stations and bus/bus stands as well as places like vaccination centres which many have visited in the last few months. Also Read - Assam Lockdown: Govt Revises Night Curfew Timings, Allows Cinema Halls to Operate at 50% Capacity | Latest Guidelines Here

Here are some of the key findings of the survey:

  1. Only 13% citizens say mask compliance is effective while only 6% say social distancing is working in their area/district/city
  2. Only 30% citizens say mask compliance is effective during travel (airport, stations, bus stands, etc.)
  3. People say markets are top outdoor space for social distancing non-compliance while vaccination centers and travel centers like airports, stations, bus stands are top indoor non-compliant spaces
  4. The survey by LocalCircles received 65,000 responses from citizens residing in 366 districts of India, found out how people were complying to mask and social distancing protocols in cities and districts, while travelling in flights/airports, trains/railway stations and bus/bus stands as well as places like vaccination centres which many have visited in the last few months.
  5. Sixty-four percent were men and 36 percent respondents were women. Forty-six percent respondents were from Tier-1 areas, 29 percent from Tier-2 areas, and 25 percent from Tiers-3, 4 and rural districts.
  6. Earlier local survey indicated that mask compliance was rated as effective by 29 percent people then and social distancing compliance as effective by 11 percent.
  7. LocalCircles on March 23 this year had raised the red flag highlighting the need to enforce mask and social distancing compliance and implement movement restrictions or lockdown at the earliest when its “citizen pulse trackers” indicated high levels of risk.
  8. The report suggests that the Central government, state governments and district administrations must ensure that clear guidelines are formed and enforced for community gatherings and compliance to masking and social distancing norms.
  9. Special focus is needed on awareness creation and ensuring compliance in Tier-3, 4 towns and rural districts where some cases of the citizen feedback received showed that compliance is at near-zero levels.
  10. On the bright side, the survey showed that mask compliance levels were higher vaccination centres as 61 percent of citizens said it was effective when they visited the places in the last two months.

“The drop in mask compliance ratings from 29  to 13 percent and in social distancing compliance ratings from 11 percent to 6 percent indicates that complacency has set in with many now believing that COVID-19 is gone,” said Sachin Taparia, founder of LocalCircles. Also Read - Breaking News LIVE Updates Oct 26, 2021: WHO Committee to Decide on Covaxin Approval Today

“With 2021 festive season already on and likely to see significantly higher levels of socialising, shopping and community events, the risk of COVID cases rising is now high”, he warned. The travel euphoria currently is stronger than the one LocalCircles reported in February-March this year, Taparia said.

Only 30% citizens say mask compliance is effective during travel (airport, stations, bus stands, etc.)

Aerosols and droplets are the key transmission mode of the virus to enter our body. The virus is released in the saliva and nasal discharge of an infected person through exhalation, talking, speaking, singing, laughing, coughing, sneezing, etc. Even one infected person showing no symptoms can release enough droplets to create a “viral load” that can infect many others. Therefore, wearing a mask at all times is absolutely necessary. As per PSA advisory, citizens should wear a maskwhen stepping out from home, andalso at home with outsiders.

The next question in the survey sought collective response from citizens about how compliant were people towards mask norms when they travelled using flights/airports, trains/railway stations or bus/bus stands in August-September. In response, 7% of citizens said there was “no compliance at all”. Breaking down the poll, 24% said “0-30%” people were wearing masks properly. 17% said “30-60%”, 22% said “60-90%”, and 30% said “more than 90%” people were wearing masks properly. On an aggregate basis, only 30% of citizens say mask compliance is effective during travel at airports, stations, bus stands, etc. This question in the survey received 10,562 responses.

Only 6% citizens feel that there is good social distancing compliance in their area/district/city

Social Distancing compliance in India is somewhat feasible when there are lockdown or restrictions in place. However, once public places like metros, buses, markets, airports opened up, social distancing violations are visible everywhere one looks. The first question on social distancing compliance asked citizens how people in their area, district, or city are complying with social distancing norms. In response, 25% said there is no social distancing compliance at all, while 63% said there is limited compliance. Only 6% said there is good compliance, and another 6% said they have not been out of their home in the last 30 days. This question in the survey received 14,022 responses.

On the mask front in the latest survey, just 13 percent respondents said that “more than 90 percent” people in their area, district or city are compliant and only 30 percent respondents termed mask compliance as effective during travel at airports, stations, bus stands, etc.

(With inputs from PTI)