Ever since the Coronavirus outbreak has started, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of masks by the public. Initially the discourse was mostly of the opinion that only people suffering cold and cough and the health workers need to wear masks. There also appeared to be a logistics problem initially when everybody rushed to purchase masks.
After a few weeks into the world fighting Corona outbreak, an overwhelming consensus emerged among both international health experts and the Indian administration on the use of masks. The broad takeaways can be summed as follows.
- Masks do reduce the risk of of coronavirus entering the respiratory system through droplets still in the air from an infected person.
- The surgical masks, N95 masks needs to be kept for doctors and medical workers, while the public should be encouraged to wear normal, home-made masks.
Masks – India’s Homemade Approach
The office of the Principle Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has issued a guideline over the use of masks. The focus of the guideline is on promoting homemade masks and involving groups to make masks in line with healthy practices rather than making it an industrial exercise. The proposed guide is meant to provide a simple outline to make, use and reuse masks.
Observations by Studies
According to a report published in PubMed, “if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the population would be infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped substantially. Wearing of masks is especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas.”
Here is an excerpt from the guideline book of the government.
Make Your Mask at Home
Emphasizing that a double layer of 100% cotton cloth is the most effective at capturing small particles, the government guidebook lays down the procedure of making and using of home-made masks. The guidebook illustrated many ways of preparing masks. Here is one simple way.
However, preparing a mask for yourself is only a partial measure to securing your health. A great amount of attention should be given to cleaning and sanitizing such masks before using them again.
So, stay at home to stay safe. When you come out for buying essentials you may protect yourself by wearing a simple mask.