‘Always MaskOn’, stay on guard

Wearing a mask by covering the mouth and nose is the only way to keep the virus at bay, say experts

By   |  Published: 23rd May 2020  12:08 amUpdated: 23rd May 2020  12:15 am
Masks are vital in densely populated areas like urban settlements, say experts. — Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The relaxation offered in the lockdown has given a lot of scopes for individuals to venture out of their homes, travel to offices and attend to other routine work. The city roads have gradually started to get back the regular traffic, which was not the case during the lockdown.

However, what many have started noticing and even being pointed out by public health officials is the hesitation among people to wear a homemade face cover or a proper mask when they are outdoors.

Apart from not wearing a mask at all, there are other categories of people who have a proper mask but they wear it in such a way that it covers the chin area of the face, instead of the entire mouth and nose, which defeats the purpose of using a mask.

Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, Dr K Vijay Raghavan, in a detailed note on using homemade masks, had said that such masks in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with soap and water or using sanitiser, is highly effective. In a detailed note on homemade masks, Dr Raghavan said masks are vital in densely populated areas like urban settlements which are many in Hyderabad.

MaskOn

On its part, the State government also made it mandatory for people to wear masks and has issued an advisory ‘Always MaskOn’ after WHO and MOHFW revised their guidelines and supported use of masks and face covers, every time individual steps out. Senior health officials pointed out that while the effort is to lead a normal life again amidst the lockdown, the community must not forget that the danger of coronavirus is always lurking around.

“Wearing masks is very important in the context of ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We urge people to wear face masks because it is the first line of defence against the Covid-19 infection. Homemade double-layered face masks are also effective in preventing the infection. People should be reminded that such masks need to be washed daily and reused,” says Director of Public Health, Family Welfare, Dr G Srinivas Rao.

People must realise that masks were recommended because of the inherent risk from asymptomatic Covid-19 positive patients in the community. Such people do not have any symptoms but have the potential to infect others and a mask can protect individuals from such persons, doctors said.

When an infected person coughs or talks, they send streams of tiny droplets known as aerosols, filled with the virus into the air. A single cough can produce up to 30,000 droplets and many doctors also believe that the virus is so contagious that it can spread simply through talking.

“People must realise that by wearing masks, they are not only protecting themselves but also the community by breaking the transmission chain of the virus,” senior health officials said.


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