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‘Mask’ed facts revealed

Improper use of facemasks and wrong masks can do more harm than good. 

Published: 22nd July 2020 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2020 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

EXPRESS GRAPHIC

By Express News Service

Improper use of facemasks and wrong masks can do more harm than good. Director-General of Health Services Rajiv Garg has warned against the inappropriate use of N-95 masks with valves by the public. Here’s an Express guide on choosing the right mask and its usage which can ensure maximum protection from coronavirus

No to N-95 masks with respirator valves
When a person wearing an N-95 mask exhales, the respiratory valve will let the expired air goes out. The danger is that if a person wearing such a mask is infected, the virus can spread in the atmosphere through the air that he exhales through the respiratory valve. A normal N-95 mask without a valve will not allow the virus to spread 

Surgical masks a must
In areas where widespread transmission is reported, people are asked to wear medical masks (surgical or procedure masks that are flat or pleated)Healthy individuals should wear masks/fabric masks/reusable facemasks, with two or three layersHomemade masks/fabric masks/reusable masks should be washed properly with soap and hot water. It should not be kept lying around but stored safely

Which mask can I wear?
The type of mask to be used is related to the particular risk profile of the category of person and his/her work
Triple-layer medical mask and N-95 mask
They are recommended for various categories of employees working in hospital or community settings, depending on the work environment 
Covid-19 patients, health workers coming in contact with them and those with symptoms should use triple-layer surgical mask/medical masks or normal N-95 masks 

Unmasking help tips 
➊Triple-layer surgical masks can be used for up to six hours 
➋Surgical masks are not reusable
➌N-95 masks can be reused for up to five days if it is properly sterilised by dry heating

Avoiding fogging up of eyewear
It’s the gap between the mask and nose bridge that creates this problem. To address the same, one has to seal the top of the mask either with a metal nose clip or with a micropore 
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