Coronavirus | What are the dos and don’ts on carrying masks?

The story thus far: From the beginning of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19), suggestions on use of masks have saved various, nation by nation, relying on the virus’s trajectories. With SARS-CoV-2 rising exponentially in lots of components of the world, international locations equivalent to India have begun to incorporate newer suggestions on use of masks, together with home-made face covers. The one level that continues to be unchanged is that medical masks must be reserved for health-care suppliers, individuals with signs of COVID-19 or confirmed COVID-19, and their caregivers. Carrying a masks alone isn’t sufficient, however it is vitally vital to put on one, all the identical. Whether or not a masks provides full safety from COVID-19 continues to be debatable. However high well being authorities have all the time maintained that a masks alone doesn’t suffice. Relatively, it enhances hand hygiene and bodily distancing, each vital to forestall transmission of human-to-human COVID-19.

What’s the stand of the World Well being Group (WHO)?

WHO, in its April 6-interim steering on “Recommendation on using masks within the context of COVID-19” (, notes that broad use of masks by wholesome individuals locally setting shouldn’t be supported by present proof and carries uncertainties and significant dangers.

Additionally learn | When do it is advisable put on a masks?

It says: “In some international locations, masks are worn in accordance with native customs or in accordance with recommendation by nationwide authorities within the context of COVID-19. In these conditions, finest practices must be adopted about learn how to put on, take away and get rid of them, and for hand hygiene after elimination.”

WHO goes a step additional and descriptions elements for resolution makers. They need to think about the rationale and motive for masks use, vulnerability of individual/inhabitants to develop extreme illness, the setting wherein the inhabitants lives when it comes to inhabitants density, feasibility and sort of masks.

Who ought to put on medical masks?

Nearly all well being authorities agree that medical masks — surgical masks and N95 respirators — must be reserved for health-care staff. WHO notes that using medical masks locally might create a false sense of safety, with a neglect of different important measures (hand hygiene practices and bodily distancing). The Union Ministry of Well being and Household Welfare (MoHFW) has been sustaining that other than health-care suppliers, individuals with signs of cough, fever and issue in respiration and caregivers of individuals with suspected signs of COVID-19 or confirmed COVID-19 ought to put on masks.


Whereas sufferers ought to put on a medical masks as a lot as potential, altering it at the least as soon as a day, caregivers ought to put on the masks when in the identical room because the affected individual is.

Is it high quality to put on do-it-yourself masks?

Do-it-yourself face covers is the newest buzz. Curiously, the Workplace of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Authorities of India has come out with a guide on do-it-yourself protecting covers for face and mouth ( The do-it-yourself face cowl is really useful for individuals residing in densely populated areas throughout India.

Obtain The Hindu’s multi-language e-book on important COVID-19 info

The Atlanta-based Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has put out a suggestion too on using material face coverings ( particularly in areas of serious community-based transmission. Citing current research that a good portion of people with coronavirus lack signs and that even those that ultimately develop signs can transmit the virus to others earlier than displaying signs, the CDC famous that this meant the virus can unfold between individuals interacting in shut proximity — talking, coughing or sneezing. It has really useful material face coverings in public settings the place different bodily distancing measures are tough to keep up.

The CDC, whereas emphasising the purpose that sustaining six-feet social distancing is vital to gradual the unfold of the virus, has moreover suggested using easy material face coverings usual from home goods or made at residence from widespread supplies at low value.

Watch | Coronavirus: Can masks defend you?

Consultants say staying at house is one of the best factor to do now. But when you must step out, there’s nothing fallacious in carrying masks. The rationale: one can by no means know if an individual has signs. All that’s wanted on this state of affairs is a material masks that could possibly be made at residence.

Specialists together with V. Ramasubramanian, senior guide, Infectious Ailments, Apollo Hospitals, are of the view that although there isn’t a scientific rationale, it might in all probability assist in each stopping transmission from contaminated people who find themselves coughing in addition to to guard ourselves to a sure extent. Whereas these will not be scientific suggestions, due to the evolution of the epidemic, we’re taking a look at something which can assist and masks appear to be one of many seen elements which can assist.

How ought to a masks be worn?

There are dos and don’ts for carrying masks too. At all times wash your arms earlier than carrying a masks. Don’t contact the outer floor of the masks as a lot as potential. When you put on a masks, don’t modify. If you happen to accomplish that, wash your arms.

If the masks is dirty or moist, or its integrity is damaged, don’t reuse it. Usually, you may put on a masks for as much as three to 4 hours on a median.

The MoHFW has clear-cut dos and don’ts: Unfold the pleats of the masks and make sure that they’re dealing with down. Place the masks over your nostril, mouth and chin, and guarantee there aren’t any gaps on both facet of the masks.

Additionally learn | Masks, sanitisers declared important commodities

Material covers must be washed after each use. By no means reuse disposable masks, and used masks must be disposed of into closed bins after disinfecting them. Keep away from touching the masks whereas utilizing it. Take away it solely with strings, all the time untie the string under after which the string above. After eradicating the masks, clear your arms with cleaning soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub. Each member in a household ought to have a separate masks.


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