With Delhi reporting record jumps in Covid-19 cases for two straight days, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday emphasised the importance of wearing face masks, saying people should consider them as a "vaccine" against the virus till the time one is available.
The spread of the virus can be stopped to a large extent if everyone wears a mask. Masks have more benefits than a lockdown, the minister said.
Delhi has reported record jumps of over 5,000 Covid-19 cases for the past two days. It reported 5,673 cases on Wednesday and 5,739 on Thursday.
"People should consider masks as a vaccine till there is one. The spread of the virus can be stopped to a large extent if everyone wears a mask," Jain told PTI.
"A mask has more benefits than a lockdown," he added.
The Delhi government has cited its new strategy involving aggressive contact tracing and testing as one of the reasons behind the sudden surge in the number of infections in the city.
The Union Health Ministry, however, has attributed the rise to social gatherings during festivities, deteriorating air quality, and increasing incidence of respiratory disorders.
The positivity rate in Delhi also jumped to 9.55 per cent on Thursday as the infection tally mounted to 3.75 lakh. The number of active cases in the city rose to 30,952 on Thursday from 29,378 the previous day.
Twenty-seven more fatalities were reported on Thursday, pushing the death toll in the national capital to 6,423.