What are the guidelines for face masks?

It is important to break the chain of Coronavirus infections.

The government emphasizes the importance of wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 transmission in every public situation, like social events and public gatherings to avoid catching/spreading the virus.

Wearing a Face Mask

Since many people have yet to be vaccinated, it is important to wear face masks, maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet/2 metres and avoid crowds.

Face masks are used hugely in public, in private and in healthcare settings as they lower the spread of Covid -19 transmission and have been in great demand since the start of the current pandemic.

Masks help protect the wearer from larger airborne particles such as virus and bacteria, vapours, fumes and dust and it also helps prevent release of respiratory and salivary secretions into the environment while talking, coughing and sneezing.

How to Wear a Face Mask?

You should not just wear the mask but wear it correctly.

Protocols are important for the mask to give you and others the highest protection. Its appropriate use, correct removal and disposal are critical in order to make wearing face masks as effective as possible.

According to the WHO guidelines, following are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Choose face masks that completely cover the nose, mouth and chin. A good fitting mask should extend from below the eye line over the bridge of the nose to about an inch/ 2-3cm under the chin and it should be able to stretch from cheek to cheek.
  • Make face mask usage compulsory in places such as schools and colleges, offices and hospitals, public transport, shops and shopping centres.
    Avoid large gatherings in the first place but if compulsory, make sure to maintain social distancing with face masks on.
  • Before putting a mask on, Wash your hands for 30 seconds with soap/water or use an alcohol based sanitizer, then carefully hold the mask by the loops and place it over you face.
  • Remove the mask safely and avoid touching eyes and face, wash hands immediately afterwards.
  • Don’t touch the face masks multiple times as they get contaminated with every touch, if hands are not sterilized.
  • Adjust bendable nose wire bridge over the nose to create a seal and avoid any gaps thus preventing air leakage.
  • Ear loops of the mask are stretchable bands that are designed to fit against the masks and against the sides of the face to avoid air leakage.
  • Avoid face masks that come with exhalation valves as these valves release expired air into the surrounding atmosphere.
  • Do not re-use face masks that are meant for single use.
    Take extra care while removing reusable masks and place it in an airtight bag.
  • Discard face masks if damaged.

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