Recently, the Director-General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health released a warning. In a letter, he said that one could still get infected by inappropriately using the N-95 masks, particularly those come with valved respirators. The letter says that the “inappropriate use” of N-95 masks by the public and designated health workers could be risky. “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.
In India, wearing a mask in public places is now mandatory.
Director General of Health Services has written to all states & union territories warning against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators by people.
1️⃣ Be Alert
2️⃣ Move only if necessary
3️⃣ Follow Social Distance pic.twitter.com/ODPQzfNfs8
— Manasvi Thapar । मनस्वी थापर 🇮🇳 (@ManasviThapar) July 21, 2020
It is also highly advisable to use homemade protective gear for face and mouth, said the Ministry of Health. DGHS Rajiv Garg wrote in the letter that valved respirator N-95 masks “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,” the letter read.
What You Should Know
- The Health Ministry warns against wearing N-95 masks with valves.
- Director-General of Health Services Rajiv Garg pointed out to the “inappropriate use” of N-95 masks with valved respirators by the public.
- In April, the Centre had issued an advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth.
The Centre had also issued an advisory on wearing masks in early April. Among many other guidelines, people were encouraged to not go outside without covering the face with a mask, they were warned about washing hands thoroughly before wearing the face cover and never reusing it without cleaning it. “Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have separate face cover,” the advisory had stated.
The Government of India pointed N95 masks with valved respirators are not effective in stopping the spread of virus outside the mask. Also, these masks are not effective in stopping small virus particles, a report by Firstpost said.
As of Tuesday, India reported a massive total of 1.16M cases. The COVID-19 case tally crossed the 11-lakh mark on Monday, but over seven lakh patients recovered as well, according to Union health ministry data.
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