Face mask is the most important personal protection gear in this pandemic situation. It helps reduce viral transmission. The authorities are advocating the use of mask for general public to stop spreading the virus where practicing social distancing can be difficult such as in public transport, grocery stores, pharmacy, or places of community transmission.
Types of Face Masks
Generally, you will find three types of face masks –
- Professional respirator – It shields against airborne tiny droplets and has better protection than other face masks. Thus, it is mandatory for healthcare workers go for a fit test so that you get a tightly sealed mask. We are facing a supply shortage of N95 respirators and therefore it should be reserved for the healthcare professionals, care givers and first responders.
- Surgical mask – It is a comparatively loose-fitting rectangular mask tied with elastic band looping behind the ear. It is a disposable mask covering from the top of the nose to the chin. It blocks large micro-organisms from cough, droplets and sneeze.
- Cloth masks – Masks made out of cloths can be used by the people who are not related to any kind of care giving services. It should be washed after each use.
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Put on The Mask Correctly
Follow the steps of putting on a mask to have better protection –
- Wash your hand with soap for 20 seconds or rub with alcohol-based sanitizer before putting on a mask.
- Check for any defect in the mask.
- Place the coloured side of the mask outside and position the metal strip on the bridge of your nose. See if you are comfortable.
- Make sure the mask fits you properly.
- The mask must cover all of your nose and mouth. Pull the lower part of the mask to your chin.
- Do not touch the mask once worn.
- Do not reuse a disposable mask and change immediately if damp or soiled.
What Not to Do After Putting on The Mask
- Do not transmit pathogens on or off your mask by touching the mask after putting it on.
- Don’t turn it inside out.
- Absolutely do not hang it from one ear or down your neck.
- Do not put the tie of your mask in a criss-cross pattern. The mask would not fit properly.
If you really have to touch the mask after putting on wash or sanitize the hands again.
Removing and Disposing the Mask
- Sanitize or wash your hands again before removing the mask.
- Remove the mask by holding the tie, loop or band only. Do not touch the mask.
- Dispose it in a covered bin.
- Do not forget to wash your hands after discarding the mask.