Reacting to ‘misleading’ ToI report, Prasad seeks specific clarifications from ACS (Health)
Following a misleading report in a national daily suggesting that masks are not mandatory, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad has written to Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Jawaid Akhtar, seeking a clarification as people are confused about whether or not to wear masks.
In the interim, Prasad has stressed that members of the public are not exempted from wearing a mask, and should not heed rumours.
The civic chief was responding to reporters’ queries after the Bengaluru edition of the Times of India on August 26 reported that if a person is travelling solo, wearing a mask is not mandatory.
Prasad said, “Do not listen to rumours that masks need not be worn while driving a car or a bike in the city. No such decision has been taken. If you leave the house, you must wear a mask.” He added that imposing of fines is still in effect, and neither have the marshals been instructed to stop imposing fines.
Doubts on the issue have arisen because people have complained that wearing a mask during the the morning walk makes it difficult to inhale fresh air. Thereafter, many have questioned whether wearing a mask while walking solo or while inside a car with closed windows is necessary.
In his letter to the Chief Secretary (Health), Prasad has said, “With reference to the above, this is to bring to your kind notice that citizens as well as the media have been asking for clarifications on the use of masks in public spaces… I request you to get the opinion of the Technical Advisory Committee at the state level and issue clarifications / directions in the following instances:
1) Whether a person driving alone in a four-wheeler with the window glasses closed should wear a mask.
2 Whether an individual driving alone in a four-wheeler without any fellow traveller in the car should wear a mask if the window glasses are open and the car is parked near the traffic signal, or if he opens the window glasses to talk to a person who has parked next to him.
3) Whether a single driver on a two-wheeler without a pillion rider should wear a mask while driving.
4) Whether a motorist without a pillion rider should wear a mask while he has stopped the vehicle.
5) Whether joggers in public spaces are exempted from wearing masks.”