Govt raises alert against N95 masks with valves, says can be detrimental for preventing COVID-19
New Delhi: Through a recent letter, the Centre has warned all States and Union Territories against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators by people, flagging these do not prevent the virus from spreading out and are "detrimental" to the measures adopted for its containment.
The letter dated July 20 by Rajiv Garg, Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health highlighted that it has been observed that there is "inappropriate use" of N-95 masks, particularly those with valved respirators, by the public other than designated health workers.
"It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N95 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," the letter quoted.
"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 N95 masks," he added.
- Any used cotton cloth can be used to make this face cover. The colour of the fabric does NOT matter but you must ensure that you wash the fabric well in boiling water for 5 minutes and dry it well before making the face cover. Adding salt to this water is recommended.
- Ensure that the face cover fits around your mouth and nose and there is no gap between it and your face. When wearing the face cover, the side facing you should show the pleats as facing downwards.
- You must never reverse the face cover for reuse. Always thoroughly wash it after every use. Never reuse a face cover after a single use without cleaning it. Never share the face cover with anyone.
Every member of a family should have a separate face cover.