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How and When to Use Face Masks?

PunyaHealth Experts -

PunyaHealth Experts

Published on 04 Apr 2020

How and When to Use Face Masks

How and When to Use Face Masks?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread either through respiratory droplets or contacts by human-to-human transmission. Any person who is in close proximity (within 1 meter) to someone who has respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) are at risk of being infected with the disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in order to limit the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19, wearing a medical mask is one of the preventive measures. However, it is not sufficient enough to provide an adequate level of protection. Using them must be combined with appropriate hand hygiene and other IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) measures to prevent the person-to-person transmission.

 Wearing a mask, although is not always required unless a person is sneezing, coughing, taking care of infected persons etc. Moreover, the face masks are effective in reducing the risk of transmission only if used correctly.

How to Use Face Masks Correctly?

While wearing a mask, it is essential to wear it correctly to ensure its effectiveness in reducing the risk of transmission.

Here are the Tips to use Masks correctly:

  • Before wearing the mask, sanitize your hands with at least 60% of alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.
  • Place the mask carefully and make sure that it covers the mouth and nose properly with no gaps between the face and the mask.
  • Do ensure to remove the mask by lifting the string or untying it from behind rather than touching the front of the mask.
  • Replace mask if it becomes damp.
  • Avoid reusing single use masks.
  • Discard the single use mask immediately after use in a closed dustbin and then wash hands again.

When to Use Face Masks?

Just as the methods on how to wear masks, when to use them is equally important. Here are few tips on when to use face masks: 

  • If you are healthy, you need to wear masks only if you are taking care of a person affected with COVID-19 or anyone suspected of being affected with the disease.
  • It is also very important to understand that you need to wear masks while coughing or sneezing to avoid infecting others.
  • Wear masks while staying in areas dedicated to suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

 It is possible that the use of mask might even increase the risk of infection, due to a false sense of security and contact between hands and eyes or mouth while using them, which is why it is important to be precautious while wearing them.