While the world is battling with the novel coronavirus, face masks have played a crucial role in our frontline defence against Covid 19. Due to the global pandemic and shortage of N95 coronavirus masks, it’s important that we know how to use and dispose of these masks.
How to use coronavirus masks?
According to the guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO), make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds using a hand wash or sanitise with an alcohol-based solution.
Use a clean mask to cover your mouth and your nose, ensuring that there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
Try not to touch the mask while you’re wearing it, if you do so wash or sanitise your hands.
Who should wear which mask?
N95 respirator masks- Due to the global shortage, N95 respirator masks to fight coronavirus should go to the healthline and frontline workers who are helping us fight the pandemic. Made out of polypropylene material, N95 coronavirus masks trap at least 95% of small particles up to 0.3 microns in size.
Cloth masks- While these masks are not as efficient in filtering out the virus particles, using these is still beneficial than stepping out with bare mouth. If you are taking care of an infected person then these masks are useless to you.
How to properly dispose of these masks?
Using face masks to protect yourself and others from infection is not enough. We all need to make sure we properly dispose of these masks so that they don’t pose health risks to sanitation workers or the cleaning staff.
The virus can survive on surfaces from several hours to days. In order to curtail the infection spread, used masks should not be thrown away indiscriminately.
While removing the coronavirus mask, make sure you do not touch its surface. Remove it from behind your ears.
The proper way to dispose of a coronavirus mask after use is to wrap it in a disposable bag and then throw it away. Wash your hands afterwards, make sure you don’t touch your face, eyes and mouth after touching the used mask.
Cloth masks can be washed and used again. Make sure to wash them separately.
During the testing times of the global pandemic, unfortunately we have to battle with a lot of misinformation as well. Considering we are dealing with something so unprecedented, it becomes pertinent that we equip ourselves with verified information from reliable sources and inform our habits accordingly. Stay safe.