The Importance of Face Mask

Face masks have been found to be effective in prevention of coronavirus infection. You need to wear a mask when coughing or sneezing. Before putting on a mask, make sure you that you clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. The mask should cover your nose and mouth and there should be no gap between your face and mask. Surgical and N-95 anti-pollution masks are most required by health care workers. This is the reason why its important to wear non medical mask equivalent to medical mask.

This is important for not just your own protection, but also for ensuring availability of surgical masks for healthcare workers. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Fabric face cover or face masks are good for maintaining personal hygiene. If you are not suffering from any medical conditions or do not have breathing difficulties, you should use fabric reusable face cover, particularly when you step out of your house to help protect the community at large.

Importance of face masks for Coronavirus prevention

  1. “People must be aware of the fact that there is acute shortage of surgical and N-95 face masks. They must not be misused,” says Dr P Raghu Ram, President of The Association of Surgeons of India.
  2. Dr Ram also suggests using fabric masks rather than using surgical masks or N-95 masks. “They need to be reserved for healthcare workers. N-95 masks are most needed by those who are dealing with patients in ICU,” he informs.
  3. Wearing masks serves the following two purposes. If you have cough, cold or are carrying any infection, then wearing a mask minimizes the chances of transmitting it to others. When you are wearing a mask and someone inadvertently coughs, it reduces the larger viral droplets from entering air.
  4. Do not forget to practice frequent washing of hands before wearing masks and after you take off the mask. You need to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. “Wearing a face mask with frequent hand washing significantly reduces chances of catching an infection,” Dr Ram explains.
  5. Wash regularly the fabric mask properly with soap/ detergent before reuse.

Other tips to follow when wearing a mask:

  • The mask should properly fit your face. It should neither be too loose nor too tight.
  • “You need to avoid touching your face. When wearing a mask it is a common tendency to check if its placed properly or not. This should be avoided,” Dr Ram tells DoctorNDTV.
  • Avoid touching the front of masks.
  • The mask should not be wet. It should be dry and clean.
  • Wear the mask every time you step out of the house. When you come back, wash them meticulously. Also wash your hands after washing the mask.
  • Surgical masks or single-use mask need to be discarded after being used once. Do not reuse them. Wash your hands after discarding them.