New Delhi: As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across India with an alarming number of infections being reported in the states that are worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the government has advised people to take extra precautions such as wearing a mask at home around family members.Also Read - Armed Forces Recall Retired Doctors, Medical Staff to Work to Battle COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said at a press conference on Monday that people should avoid stepping out of their houses unnecessarily and should not invite people either. Dr Paul said whether there is a COVID-19 patient at home or not, it is time to wear a mask at home even otherwise and especially around family members. Also Read - India Could See 4.4 Lakh Daily COVID Cases From May 4; Active Cases To Reach 38-48 Lakh By Mid-May: IIT Scientists in Revised Prediction

He said, “If there is a COVID-19 positive case in the family, it is very important that the person wears a mask even indoors because the virus can spread to others in the home. I would rather go on to say that the time has come that we start wearing mask at home even otherwise.” Also Read - Most People Can Recover From COVID At Home, Shouldn't Hoard Oxygen, Remdesivir: AIIMS Chief Guleria

“In this COVID-19 situation, please don’t go out unnecessarily, and even within the family wear a mask. It is very important to wear a mask. Do not invite people into your home,” Dr Paul said.

“The person who is infected must wear it but even others must do it when sitting with other family members at home. The infected person should be isolated in a separate room,” he added.

He also said, “We cannot let the pace of COVID-19 vaccination decline in the face of the emerging situation. In fact, vaccination should be escalated.”

“Questions are being asked whether vaccine can be taken by women during menstruation. The answer is yes, the vaccine can be taken during periods. This is no reason to postpone vaccination,” Dr Paul said.

The government advised that people should treat everyone who is showing symptoms of infections as COVID-19 patients.

AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said people should not wait for COVID reports to come and should isolate immediately if they are experiencing symptoms.

“Do not wait for the reports to come. Isolate. There is a chance that RT-PCR tests can be negative, just presume that the patient is COVID-19 positive if there are symptoms,” Dr Guleria said.

“We have to reduce the number of cases and use hospital resources optimally. The judicious use of oxygen is very important. Right now, there is an unnecessary panic,” the AIIMS chief said.

The government’s advisory to wear a mask at home comes at a time when India is fighting the second wave of coronavirus with cases of double mutation variant spreading in many states.