- Warning issued against use of N-95 masks with valves by government
- Government say masks with respiratory valves do not prevent the virus from spreading
Every state and Union Territory in the country has been written to by the Centre warning against the use of N-95 masks with respiratory valves by the people saying these masks do not help prevent the virus from spreading and these masks are even “detrimental” to the measures which have been adopted for the containment of the virus.
In a letter to the Principal Secretaries of Health and Medical Education of states, the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health said that after keen observations there have been “inappropriate use” of N-95 masks particularly those with respiratory valves, by the public other than designated health workers.
The Director General of Health Services referred to an advisory on the use of the homemade protective covers for the face and mouth available on the website of Ministry of Health.
Rajiv Garg, the Director General of Health Services said, “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks,” in the letter.
In April, the government issued an advisory on the use of homemade protective masks for face and mouth asking people to not just look for N-95 masks.
The advisory stressed such face covers must be washed and cleaned each day, as instructed, and stated that any used cotton cloth can be used to make this face cover.
It said that the colour of the fabric does not matter, however, one must make sure that the fabric is washed well in boiling water for at least 5 minutes and following that dried well before using as a face cover. Advisory also said that adding salt to the water was recommended.
The advisory also listed the procedures of making homemade masks asking that people must make sure that the masks fits the face well and there are no gaps on the sides.
Washing hands thoroughly before wearing the face cover and switching to a new mask as the previous one becomes damp or humid after excessive use. Also the advisory asked not to use the mask after a single use without cleaning it.
The advisory said, “Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have separate face cover,”.
The total cases of COVID-19 in India has almost hit 12 lakh cases as of Wednesday while the total number of active cases stands at 4,13,000.
The death toll due to the deadly virus has reached 28,771 in the country.