Are Indians following social distancing & mask protocol as cases surge? What Survey Says

Image Courtesy: ETNT

The daily coronavirus cases all across India have witnessed a meteoric surge and recently breached the 1 lakh mark in the past few days. Indians are not following the Covid-19 preventive measures, a new survey has reported.

This survey is conducted by the community social media platform Local Circles, which records about 33,000 responses from residents across 319 districts of India. Out of this, it is observed that only 11 per cent of respondents was effective adherence for both precautions of social distancing and mask-wearing in their area, district or city. On the other hand, about 29 per cent said mask compliance was ‘good’.

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India has seen a sharp fall from last September when an earlier Local Circles survey found that 67 per cent of respondents reported good mask compliance in their area.

India currently reports 7,88,223 active cases of the 1,26,86,049 documented since the beginning of the pandemic. It registered a single-day spike of 96,982 cases as of Tuesday morning, according to the health ministry.

Lockdown hardship

Sixty-three per cent of respondents within the survey explained there was no compliance to social distancing in their area while 24 per cent said there was only limited compliance.

As per the survey, people now are moving around freely, meeting different social groups and attending gatherings, going to malls and markets freely. This demonstrates that pandemic fatigue has set in after a year of restrictions on movement, social distancing and strict mask-wearing norms.

Vaccination centres

The survey even found low compliance of protocols at theCovid vaccination centres — only 44 per cent of respondents said there were good regulations to both social distancing and mask-wearing, while 6 per cent said there was no compliance at all.

About seven per cent told that there was no adherence to mask-wearing and 47 per cent said there was no compliance to social distancing. Thus the result clearly stated that vaccination centres are incapable to manage the number of people coming in for their shot, stated the survey.

“As the vaccination drive is expanding, the compliance to these norms is expected to worsen. With many senior citizens approaching vaccination centres for their second dose in the next 2-4 weeks, it is critical that mask and social distancing norms are enforced by those vaccinating and administering the drive or it will not happen. The last thing we as a nation want is the vaccination centres becoming super spreaders,” the survey said.

Consent while travelling

Respondents documented low compliance to the Covid protocol even while surveying over the past month. Twenty-five per cent of respondents who travelled by local transports like bus or trains in the past month stated that nobody had followed the Covid protocols.

“The findings suggest that mask-wearing and social distancing norms are rarely followed while travelling. This is evident as only 15% of citizens rated social distancing compliance as good, while 44% citizens rated mask compliance as good while travelling at airports, railway stations, or bus stands,” the survey said.

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What is then India leading to? What is going to be the circumstances if all the rules and regulations are ignored by the people daily? It is our responsibility to keep safe and sound.