THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: To keep Covid-19 outbreak at bay, the health department may recommend that the public continue wearing reusable facemasks well after the lifting of lockdown measures. Social distancing and personal hygiene will also be encouraged and promoted. As per sources, the health department is also planning to initiate a project through which reusable facemasks can be made at home.
“The chief minister himself said that masks should be worn not just to prevent ourselves from contracting the virus, but also to avoid transmitting it to others. The Union health ministry has also issued an advisory on the benefits of homemade facemasks,” said an official with the health department.
The Union health ministry has underscored that homemade reusable facemasks are for asymptomatic people and not for health workers, infected patients or those in contact with them. They will have to wear the specified protective gear,” added the officer.According to the manual shared by the ministry, the masks can be made out of clean cloth available at home. The cloth should be thoroughly washed before making the mask. The mask must be made in such a manner that it should cover the mouth and nose completely and be easy to tie over the face.
While recommending making two sets of masks, so that when one is in the wash the other can be used, the manual also stresses that the masks should not be shared. “After use, the facemask should be properly washed with soap and hot water,” highlighted the manual.“It is an established fact that Covid-19 occurs through droplet transmission. However, now there are talks of the possibility of airborne transmission in specific circumstances and settings. There are also reports of silent transmission in which an asymptomatic person can transmit the virus to others. Hence, mass wearing of facemasks is highly recommended,” said the officer.
Meanwhile, Dr Amar Fettle, state nodal officer, Public Health Emergency of International Concern, said that considering the limited supply of facemasks, asymptomatic persons could use bandanas or handkerchiefs to cover their mouths as well. “Even if people use facemasks, they should know how to use it properly and how to dispose of it scientifically,” he said.