Coronavirus has introduced us to a whole complete era. An era where people are safe when they maintain social distancing and the accessories one can wear is a mask. The era made us feel like a human is no more a human’s friend rather humans have found their new best pal, the masks. Masks proved to be a really protective mate.
BUT… Masks can harm us?
All the states and Union Territories were warned by the Centre against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators. The Centre said that it not only doesn’t provide any prevention from the spreading of the virus but it has been proven detrimental to the adoption of measures adopted for its containment.
A letter was received by the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states from the DGHS i.e. Director General of Health Services stating that it has been observed that there is an inappropriate use of the N-95 masks with valved respirators is being done by the designated health workers and the public.
Mr. Rajiv Garg from DGHS said in the letter that “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks.”
Hence the Director-General of Health Services emphasized the advisory on the usage of home-made masks or protective covers which can be used to cover an individual’s face and mouth are available on the Ministry of Health‘s website.
In April month, the government issued an advisory for the people where it was asked to use the homemade protective cover for mouth and face while they are stepping out of their homes. The advisory also threw light on how these face covers cleaned and washed every day as per the instructions. it also mentioned how one can use the old cotton cloth as an alternative to cover their faces. It said that the color of the fabric is nothing that needs attention, but one must make sure that the fabric is well washed in boiling water and completely dry before using it as a face cover. It recommended that adding salt to the boiling water while washing the cloth will be much better.
The procedure of making such homemade masks was also enlisted in the advisory and it was asked to make sure that the masks fit well and there are no gaps on the sides.
The advisory requested people to thoroughly wash hands before putting on their face masks and keep on switching to another fresh one as face covers become humid or damp while breathing and putting them on for a long time and it also asked people to never reuse a mask after single use before cleaning it properly.
The advisory suggested that “Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member of a family should have a separate face cover.”