CHIEF Medical Officer Roshan Parasram has lamented the marked decrease in mask-wearing in public especially in light of two new covid19 cases in which public health officials do not yet know how the persons became infected.
At the Ministry of Health’s press briefing on Thursday, Parasram noted there has been a decrease in the use of facemasks and strongly urged people to comply with the rule and wear masks once out in public.
“Even in my workplace, you would find that over the last few months people were not wearing masks as they would have been during the height of the pandemic,” Parasram said.
“The guidelines are out, we have a number of guidelines for different sectors that are in place, and all the guidelines barring the school guidelines would ask for mask-wearing.”
Parasram pointed out that in the private sector, several businesses have taken up a “no mask, no service” rule, making it mandatory to wear masks in business places, but Government has not yet been minded to make the use of masks in public mandatory. He stressed the importance of wearing masks and even advised people who are ill to wear them inside their homes to protect loved ones.
“If you cannot establish social distancing, it becomes more important. And of course, in high crowd areas we ask that you wear it at all times. We are strongly recommending, and in light of the new cases, that people comply with the mask-wearing rule.”
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh announced that the latest case is that of a minor – the daughter of an employee of Republic Bank, and Newsday received information that another minor, one who was repatriated from Canada, has also tested positive.
While Parasram confirmed that other children have been infected before, he added that because the numbers are so small, there was little evidence to suggest a prevalence of childhood infection.
But Deyalsingh said he hoped with one of the newest cases being a minor, that those who are pushing back against guidelines and advice given for the protection of children are not to be taken seriously.
“Now that we have a minor who has tested positive, it becomes more important that all the advice that we have been giving about children (is heeded),” he said. Parasram said the two new cases are in a stable condition, and are housed at the Caura facility.