In an advisory, the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) under the Ministry of Health has released a letter stating that those who use N-95 masks with valved respirators could be at a higher risk of contracting the infection.
According to the letter, the inappropriate use of N-95 masks by the public and frontline health workers could be harmful. “They are detrimental to the measures adopted for its containment,” the Centre also warned in a letter to the principal secretaries of health and medical education of states.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health has also advised people to use homemade protective gear for both the face and mouth. Rajiv Garg, who holds the position of the DGHS wrote in the letter, “I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks.” These masks are said to be ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus outside the mask. Also, they are allegedly not useful in stopping small virus particles.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began a few months ago, countries all over the world, including India have advised people to stay home and step out only if absolutely necessary, and mandatorily wearing masks. Social distancing and washing hands regularly are also some of the other guidelines critical for prevention of the spread of the virus. Every member in a family/house must also have individual face masks.
These face covers must be washed and cleaned every day. It must be boiled for five minutes in salt water and dried well before using it for protection.
As of Tuesday, July 21, India has reported a massive total of 1.16 million cases, although over seven lakh patients have recovered, shared the Union Health Ministry.
(Edited by Athira Nair)