As COVID-19 cases in Delhi continue to rise, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday urged citizens to consider the face mask like a COVID-19 vaccine, especially in the upcoming festive season.
He further said that the benefits of everyone wearing masks were at par, if not better, with those of a lockdown.
"When we had imposed the lockdown, cases did not go down. If 100 per cent of people wear masks, COVID-19 infection can be controlled to a certain extent. Benefits of wearing masks are just as many as those of a lockdown, if not more. Until there is a vaccine, masks should be considered vaccines," Jain said.
He further said that wearing masks would also help protect people from air pollution.
Regarding the availability of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, Jain said that around 35 per cent of Delhi's beds were occupied.
"Around 35 per cent of our beds are currently occupied. We wanted to increase the number of beds but the High Court did not allow it. We have asked for 80 per cent of beds in private hospitals to be reserved for COVID-19 patients. That matter is being discussed in court," he said.
The national capital on Thursday reported 27 deaths and 5,739 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number of cases reported in the metropolis in a single day.
The total number of cases in Delhi now stands at 3,75,753, including 30,952 active cases and 6,423 deaths.
( With inputs from ANI )
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