Health Ministry says N95 mask with valves are not safe, handmade masks are safestJuly 21, 2020 20:20
(Image source from: thewire.in)
The Health Ministry of India has issued warning against a particular N95 mask with a respiratory valve, saying that it does not prevent from Covid-19 and homemade fabric masks are much better.
In a pandemic where everyone is fighting a virus every single day of their life, where everyone is scared to go out of their homes, where everyone is paranoid, where the cases of coronavirus are hitting the park the one that has been stagnant is the masks. That’s right, wearing mask is the new normal right now. We can step out of our houses without an ID but we cannot step out without a mask.
It’s like we don’t remember the life before this, masks however uncomfortable is a necessity now. With new emerging evidence of the virus being airborne it is much safer to wear masks and step out. In some countries not wearing a mask and stepping out is illegal and you might have to pay a certain amount of fine.
The Indian market is filled with masks. From the surgical ones to the fabric ones, every other person is taking this opportunity to make masks and sell them. Cartoon masks for kids and printed masks were adult we have everything. Some elites are also getting themselves masks made with real gold, and we don’t know how affective they are yet. Recently there was a report which said that most of the N95 masks in the Indian market are falsely distributing their product. There is a lot of fraudulent behavior in manufacturers and dealers of masks. The masks are neither tested nor certified.
The Indian Health Ministry has issued a warning against certain N95 masks that they do not prevent the person wearing them from getting infected with the virus. The guidelines highlighted the usage of mask, the type of masks that are affective and what one should be while wearing a mask and what one shouldn’t do.
The warning was given against the N95 masks with those respiratory valves on them. The ministry has also said in one of the guidelines that people should stop wearing and selling such type of masks. One of the officials from the Ministry mentioned that the N95 masks with respiratory valves are not safe as it does not prevent the virus from going out of the mask, which means it is not safe for wearing.
Rajiv Garg, DGHS sent a letter to all the states and union territories, stating that, "It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N95 masks are detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask."
He also requested to the states and union territories that they should instruct all the concerned fellow beings to not use these N95 masks with the valves.
What exactly is the issue with the valves on the N95 mask?
Well, the only problem that comes with the N95 mask that have the fitted valves on them is the
The N95 masks are a kind of personal protective equipment that was designed for health care workers while treating a sick patient. These masks only filter the air coming in and not the one that goes out. The valve is present on the masks for ventilation as health care workers where it for long hours and it should not get exhausting. But the problem here it the masks that are there in the market have only one way valve, they are filtering the particles that come in but not the one that goes out. A two way valve mask is still fine, but the one which has a one way valve is not safe at all and there is a higher risk of transmission. Masks are to be worn for our safety as well as other and if one want to be extra protective and wear N95 masks, use the one with two way valve or just use the one without respiratory valve that are much safer.
The safest of them all according to the health ministry are the cloth masks which can be made at homes. The handmade masks need to be of cotton cloth, it needs to be three layered and properly sanitized. There are a certain things to keep in mind while using a mask made of fabric. The first is washing it before using it. The clothe masks need to be boiled in hot water with a pinch of salt for at least 5 minutes. This mask then needs to be dried and used. Handmade masks or cloth masks should not be worn for more than 8 hours of time. They need to be replaced immediately and one must care of the hygiene of the mask and store it in a tidy place before and after the use.
By Deepika Agarwal