Following the Government of Indias directive for citizens to use DIY (Do it Yourself) face masks, it is important to be informed of certain factors while going about with the same.
The aim is to limit the spread of the virus, and reports suggest that an asymptomatic person can spread the infection before developing symptoms. Hence, one must not only protect themselves but also protect and safeguard the health interest of others at all times.
"The virus seems to be transmitted mainly via small respiratory droplets through sneezing, coughing or when people interact with each other in close proximity, meaning less than 1meter distance. These droplets can be inhaled or they can land on surfaces that others come in contact with; upon contact these people can then get infected if they touch their nose, mouth or eyes. The virus can survive on surfaces from several hours to days," Dr Farah Ingale, Sr. Consultant-Internal Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital said.
Social distancing is indeed the need of the hour to contain the spread of the virus, and stepping out even for essential errands poses a threat. Healthcare professionals across the country are striving to ensure treatment is provided to those patients who have tested positive for COVID19, however, the community at large must equally help in bolstering the healthcare system.
To help guide citizens on how to make and use DIY masks correctly, here are a few do's and don'ts to follow.
It is simple; you must protect those around you by wearing a mask while stepping out, regardless of showing or not showing symptoms. Any material can be used-however, ensure the cloth is thoroughly washed and cleaned before sewing it into a mask. While using the mask, make sure to cover the areas of the mouth and nose completely, securely tying the mask around the ears. A single person should have 2, and not just 1 mask - these are to be interchanged for cleanliness and hygiene purposes.
Wash the mask frequently by soaking and subsequently washing it in boiling water. Make sure to dry it well before using the mask again. Importantly, wash your hands for 20 seconds prior to applying the mask over your face. When taking off the mask, remove it from the back of your head and behind the earlobes, wash your hands after.
Do not share your mask with someone else, even with a family member as germs can easily be passed on. When worn, do not touch the front of your mask or keep trying to adjust it near the nose and mouth. Cloth masks are not to be used or placed over children below 2 years of age or those with severe breathing problems. Consult your doctor for best advice in this regard. Do not attempt to scratch your face under the mask.
Also, healthcare workers, and COVID-19 suspected patients must use a N95 mask and handwashing for 20 seconds is extremely essential.
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