AP Photos: India’s mandate means masks are everywhere

NEW DELHI — Wearing a mask is mandatory in India. And the police are on the streets, watching people to make sure they are in place.

People caught without a mask are fined. Some local governments, like that of the capital New Delhi, have recruited new staff to ensure the rules are followed.

Atul Teron, 52, said he couldn’t buy a mask in his village and preferred to tie a scarf around his face. “My traditional headscarf provides more protection than other masks,” he said.

Most people in India say they wear masks to avoid paying fines. And, therefore, the masks hang over the chin, hang below the nose, and sometimes rest on the head like glasses.

India averages more than 250,000 new infections per day, with omicron being the source of the infections. The surge highlights the need for a renewed focus on masks and, importantly, how best to wear them.

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