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Be prepared to wear masks into 2022, says top govt adviser on COVID-19

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Wearing of masks is likely to extend into next year said Dr. V.K. Paul, the Indian Government’s top adviser on Covid-19

The wearing of masks is likely to extend into next year as the war on Covid will eventually be won when effective medicines are rolled out to cure the deadly disease, the Indian government’s top adviser on COVID-19, Dr VK Paul has said.

Hoping the world would be as lucky with the medicines as it was with vaccines, Dr Paul said: "My view is that it will be a combination of vaccines, drugs, and reasonably disciplined behaviour that will finally see us through."

He emphasised that effective medicines are required to stall the progression of the disease.

"Wearing the mask will not go away...for some time...We will continue to wear the mask even through the next year..." Dr Paul said in an interview to NDTV on Monday. 

Dr Paul did not rule out a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as the country was entering a high-risk festival season with Diwali and Dusshehra approaching.

"The third wave cannot be ruled out. There is a period of the next three-four months when the vaccine is rolling up to build the Great Wall of herd immunity. We need to protect ourselves and avoid the outbreak. To me that is possible if we are all together in this show," Dr Paul said.

Past experience has shown that the celebration of festivals in the country leads large crowds and complete breakdown in the protocol required to keep COVID-19 at bay. These festivals have been followed by a sudden surge in coronavirus cases.

"It is a timely intervention on the part of the administration and the people above all which can and should and will avoid any significant outbreak," he added.