THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: According to a study by Global Institute of Public Health (GIPH), Thiruvananthapuram, around 20 per cent of the people in the state were not protected by face masks. Of the 4,500 people who were surveyed across Kerala, 20 per cent either didn’t wear a mask at all or wore it improperly.
Almost 96 per cent of the people wore face masks and 16 per cent of them were found to be wearing it improperly. Malappuram district had the highest percentage of people wearing masks properly(85.8 per cent), followed by Thiruvananthapuram (85.5 per cent). Idukki had the lowest mask use percentage of 62.4 per cent.
The study was done on the basis of over 1,400 photographs taken in public places, hospitals and indoor gatherings. Around 4,500 people who were clearly visible in the photographs were taken up for the study. Average number of people in a photo frame was used as a measure to determine the crowding in places. It was found that co-incidentally, places with highest mask use had higher levels of crowding. This can be a reason for high COVID-19 positive cases in the districts of Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram.
S S Lal, Head of Public Health, GIPH, said that 80 per cent of proper mask use is not a bad number but it is not enough. Anand Marthanda Pillai, Principal Investigator of the study, said that overall mask use of 96 per cent is a very good number. However, he added that 20 per cent of the people using face mask improperly is a number big enough to trigger the spread of COVID-19 again.