Women better at mask wearing than men, Mumbai best performing city with 76.28% mask adherence, finds study

The non-profit think-tank conducted a mask adherence study among different age groups at public places across 11 cities - Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jammu, Delhi, Guwahati, Raipur, Chandigarh, Shimla, Chennai and Pune

FP Staff January 07, 2022 17:18:24 IST
Women better at mask wearing than men, Mumbai best performing city with 76.28% mask adherence, finds study

The female population in Delhi was found to be much better at adherence than its male counterpart, with 47.34 percent women wearing masks as against 31.52 percent men. PTI

Despite the fears of a third COVID-19 wave, driven this time by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, and imposition of restrictions by several state governments, mask compliance at public places continues to be very poor.

About 50 percent of people in Chandigarh, Raipur, Guwahati and Kolkata are not masked up, as opposed to people in Mumbai, which emerged as best performing city with a 76.28 percent mask adherence, according to a survey by Digital India Foundation (DIF), a think-tank working on digital inclusion.

The non-profit think-tank conducted a mask adherence study among different age groups at public places across 11 cities - Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jammu, Delhi, Guwahati, Raipur, Chandigarh, Shimla, Chennai and Pune. The data was collected between 23 November and 21 December 2021, with a total sample size of 10,841.

Check the full analysis report here:

Nation Wide R1 Mask Analysis Report by Roshneesh K'Maneck on Scribd

Mumbai emerges best performing city in mask-wearing

After Mumbai, Hyderabad has the highest proportion of fully masked at 45.75 percent and Shimla and Kolkata at 40.59 percent and 40.55 percent. In contrast, Raipur has 60 percent population not wearing any masks, followed by Chandigarh at 52 percent.

In Delhi, around 45.59 percent of the population remain unmasked and 38.25 percent fully masked.

According to the study, over 36 percent of non-mask wearing participants argued that the virus is not a threat, while another 26 percent said they feel irritated or suffocated by masks.

With most cities recording an increase of up to 30 percent in daily active COVID-19 cases, World Health Organization has recommended masking as it can substantially slow transmission. However, the disparity within states wearing masks is noteworthy.

More women wear masks than men

The study also found that mask adherence was more predominant among women than in men.

In the National Capital, 47 percent of women wear masks, compared to 31.52 percent of men. About 45 percent of women and 36 percent of men wore masks in Kolkata. Mumbai has 47 percent women who wear masks, and 31 percent men. A similar pattern is observed in all cities.

However, in Chennai, more women did not wear a mask than those who did. In Chandigarh, most women (49 percent) did not wear a mask and 38 percent of women did.

Cloth masks preferred over N95 masks

At least 65 percent preferred cloth masks over other types of masks such as N95 and surgical ones.

Cloth masks are said to be ineffective in preventing COVID-19 infections. N95 masks are better at prevention. Washable cloth masks are the most popular, the survey data show.

In Delhi, only four percent of people wear N95 masks. In comparison, 73 percent used cloth masks, and 23 percent used surgical masks.

In Mumbai, out of the fully masked, 13.6 percent used N95; in Chennai 22 percent, Chandigarh 21 percent, Hyderabad 22 percent, Jammu 19 percent, Shimla 28 percent and in Raipur 33 percent wore N95 masks.

Methodology of survey

For the study, the sample size was assigned based on the size of the city and caseload during the second wave of Covid-19.

The sample size in metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai was 1,500, while it was 1,000 in tier-2 cities such as Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Chennai. In small cities like Jammu, Shimla and Guwahati, the sample size was 500. While for Raipur the sample size was 128. Total samples collected are: 10841 including 911 interviews.

Mask adherence was classified under three categories: Fully masked (wearing masks correctly), partially masked (wearing masks below the nose) and no mask (without a mask or wearing it below the mouth).

Cloth masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks were counted under the definition of 'masked'. Double masking was counted under the N95 category.

With inputs from agencies

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