New Delhi: US President Joe Biden today announced that those who have got both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine do not need to wear masks or follow social distancing anymore. In the UK too, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that people will be allowed to meet with each other and even have parties from May 17. In India, however, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that even after getting both vaccine shots, people need to follow COVID guidelines.
Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Friday (May 14) explained the significance of the decisions taken by three of the biggest countries regarding COVID guidelines after vaccination.
Joe Biden held a press conference at White House's Rose Garden where he was accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris and other staffers. None of them wore a mask to make a statement.
Biden made the decision following the new guidelines of the CDC, according to which people who have had both doses of the vaccine can go without a mask in most places. However, it has advised applying masks in closed crowded places such as buses and aircraft or in hospitals.
Out of the 33 crore population of the US, 11.7 crore people have been fully vaccinated. This means, all these people can now live without masks.
Similarly, UK PM Johnson has announced the lifting of restrictions from May 17, which people are calling the “Big Unlock”.
In both countries, a large portion of the population has been fully vaccinated.
What is the right approach – the US and UK’s decision to relax COVID norms after vaccination or India’s decision to not lower the guard?
Many people have already started opposing Biden’s decision and with good reason. Only two weeks ago, the CDC said that people in America should apply masks even after getting vaccinated. What changed since then? Some believe it is a hasty decision by the Biden administration which has no scientific basis.
Ever since day-to-day cases of COVID in the US began to decrease, President Biden was under pressure to allow people to remove masks. There were demonstrations in the past few months as people demanded to get rid of the imperative of masks.
During the Presidential elections in the US in October last year, Trump was criticized for not wearing masks and Biden was saying that he would make rules about masks as soon as he became president. But now he is giving people the freedom to not wear masks.
By doing this, the Biden administration wants to encourage people to get vaccinated.
There has been a decrease in the number of vaccines applied per day in the US in the last few days. It is now being speculated that after Biden's statement, people who want to get rid of the masks will definitely go for the vaccine.
India is right to continue to follow COVID guidelines even after vaccination. It has a scientific basis. Scientists believe that even after getting both doses of the vaccine, there is a risk of getting infected. Therefore, people should continue to wear masks.
Another important point to note is that though the danger posed by the virus is reduced significantly after vaccination, it can still infect a person. And the person, though asymptomatic, can infect others and thus become a Super Spreader.
In the US, 5.84 lakh people have died due to coronavirus but despite this, they are set to shed masks, whereas in India, this figure is 2.62 lakh, yet we are talking caution.
It is understandable that President Joe Biden in America and Boris Johnson in Britain took this decision under pressure from their people. But in India, the priority of the government is the safety of the people, which is clearly the right thing at the moment.