Centre issues warning against use of N-95 masks with valved respirators
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 21, 2020, 01:38 pm
A warning has been issued by the Centre to all states and union territories against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators. In their latest advisory, the government has stated that the N-95 masks with valved respirators fail in preventing the novel coronavirus from spreading out. Labeling them as being "detrimental" to the containment measures being adopted, the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health and Welfare, wrote a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, saying that an "inappropriate use" of N-95 masks has been noticed and, particularly those by the public other than designated health workers, in terms of the ones with valved respirators.
In a letter to the states and UTs, DGHS Rajiv Garg said, "It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks,".
In April, the Centre issued an advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for the face and mouth, informing people to wear it when they step out of their residences. Such face covers, as per the advisory, were to be washed and cleaned every day, while it also informed that itr can be made using cotton cloth. The fabric must be washed well in boiling water for at least five minutes and then dried before using it to cover the face while the color of the fabric was not important, the advisory stressed. It was also recommended that salt be used in the boiling water and also added that the cloth covers the face well with no gaps on their sides.
The DGHS' latest advisory also informs people to wash their hands thoroughly before putting on the face cover or when switching to another fresh one as the cover already worn becomes damp and humid, while also stressing on not reusing it without cleaning after its single use. The advisory stated, "Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have separate face cover,".
The number of coronavirus cases across India crossed the 11-lakh mark on Monday with the recovered patients increasing to over seven lakh, as per the Ministry of Health and Welfare's latest data. The Health Ministry also said 27,497 people have so far died across the nation due to the COVID-19 infection.