The Union Health Ministry has confirmed that it is not mandatory to wear a mask when a person is alone in a car. Responding to a question in the weekly press briefing on COVID-19 management, Rajesh Bhushan, Health Secretary, clarified that was no such advisory was issued by the centre. More recently, there were several reports of the police penalising citizens in Delhi-NCR for not wearing a mask when travelling alone in a vehicle, thus prompting the clarification. There are no guidelines from the Union Healthy Ministry around wearing a mask when a person is alone in a car. However, Bhushan did say that it is 'advisable' to wear a mask if there are more people in a car to avoid the spread of infection.
"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.
India currently sits third in world rankings for the highest number of COVID-19 cases with over 39.56 lakh cases registered so far. The numbers are only marginally less than that of Brazil, while USA leads the rankings with the maximum number of positive cases globally at over 60 lakh. At present, India has over 8.31 lakh active cases. According to the data released by the Health Ministry, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi remain the worst affected states by the pandemic.
With the prevailing conditions, the government has mandated wearing face masks as a preventive measure when one chooses to go outdoors. The use of a mask can dramatically reduce the chances of the user contracting the virus that is said to spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth.