Masks are the new lifestyle modification, fashion-symbol and a new mode of survival in this era of Covid-19. Interestingly WHO now agrees with this statement as well. Previous guidelines of WHO suggested that only people that are affected by Covid-19 and those surrounding the patients needs to wear the masks. For healthcare workers, WHO guided that only those professionals directly dealing with Covid-19 patients needs to wear masks.
Summary of the WHO Interim Guidelines related to Masks
But the recent interim guidelines published by WHO, the use of masks has been promoted even more. The summary of the guidelines can be seen below
- People above 60 years of age must wear mask when going out in Public places
- People with an underlying medical disease ( Hypertension, Diabetes etc) must wear masks when going out in public.
- All Healthcare workers must wear the three-layered surgical masks when working in hospital-settings
- Government should make sure the citizens wear masks when out in public places
- Masks alone won’t help prevention from Covid-19 but keeping social distance is also necessary.
Does face masks prevent Covid-19 ?
Yes , face masks prevent the spread of Corona virus along with other precautions like social distancing and frequent hand-washing.
How to wear masks ? Do’s and Don’ts
- Always wear masks above nose.
- Wearing masks below nose are useless.
- Don’t touch the masks while you are wearing it.
- Press the masks on the nose to make sure it sticks around the face.
- Cloth masks can be washed with boiled water.
- Don’t put masks on people who are having difficulty breathing
- Don’t put masks on babies below 2 years of age
- Masks should not be considered as a substitute for social distancing.
Type of Masks
There are three types of masks commonly used around the world
1. Surgical Masks
These are three-layered masks often seen wearing by the doctors in hospitals. The three-layered masks are disposable and should be replaced after a while. They must not be washed and re-used. They are not a substitute to N-95 masks but when N-95 Masks are not available, Doctors and medical professionals should use these while dealing with Covid-19 patients. Even general public should use this type of masks. Ideally, surgical masks should not be reused.
2. N-95 Masks
These masks are specialized masks with filters and small pores that can filter 95% of the particles. N-95 respirator is a protective device that is designed to achieve very efficient filtration of air particles. It is designed to fit around the nose and mouth. They are commonly used in healthcare settings and CDC recommends their use only for healthcare personnel. General public is not recommended to use N95 masks due to their lack of supply and limited manufacturing. The N95 masks should not be re-used or shared. For more details regarding N-95 respirators, you can visit CDC Website.
3. Cloth Masks
Unlike the previous guidelines, CDC and WHO now recommends general public to use simple cloth mask in public settings in order to slow the spread of the virus. If surgical masks are not available, cloth mask can be used. Those who use cloth mask should strictly follow the social distancing guidelines and hand washing guidelines.
For more information regarding Corona Virus (Covid-19) , See Here.