Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that people should continue wearing face masks until experts say that they are no longer required.
Briefing media on decisions taken during the Union Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, the minister for information and broadcasting was responding to a question about the use of masks being made voluntary in certain countries as over 75 per cent of their respective populations have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Mr Thakur also urged people who have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine yet, including the naysayers, to get themselves inoculated at the earliest to get protection against the disease.
During the course of the pandemic, decisions were taken based on requirements, he said, adding that Covid protocols, such as maintaining physical distance, wearing masks and washing hands regularly, played a key role in controlling the further spread of the virus.
People were guided by medical experts and the state governments too followed advisories, he added.
"When it is felt that wearing masks is not required, experts will tell you. But till the time they don't say so, keep wearing masks," Mr Thakur said.
He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for leading the country during the pandemic and taking steps to promote vaccine production and providing free ration to the needy for many months during the pandemic.
On India administering over 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Mr Thakur said, "Vaccination was a big step that gave people a lot of relief during the pandemic. It is a big achievement."
The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed the 100-crore mark on Thursday.
More than 75 per cent of India's around 93 crore adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 31 per cent have been administered both doses, according to Union Health Ministry officials.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)