Suppliers and consumers are reportedly struggling with the shortage of N95 masks with the demand increasing amid the coronavirus scare. The price of masks has also shot up in the past few weeks.There has, however, been much debate about whether N95 masks can really offer protection from coronavirus. Doctors suggest that one need not wear a mask unless there has been exposure to an infected patient.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has also issued guidelines on wearing masks.
According to the WHO’s official website, here’s when you should wear a mask:
*If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
* Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
* Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.* If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.”
According to WHO, here’s how you should use a mask:
*Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
* Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
* Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
* Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
* To remove the mask: Remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.”