The Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health, in a letter to all the State and Union territories, has raised concerns about the inappropriate/ improper usage of N95 masks especially with valved respirator citing that these masks do not guarantee full proof protection against the virus, but is just a means of avoiding direct contact with the respiratory droplets of the infected person further restricting the spread of the virus.
However, there are still chances that despite the usage of masks and other necessary precautions, one could still be infected with it. “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N95 masks are detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask,” Director General of Health Services Rajiv Garg said in the letter. “In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth covers and prevent inappropriate use of N95 masks.”
There have been several advisories released by the Ministry of Health about making homemade masks, with soft, breathable and thoroughly cleaned cotton fabrics that are equally helpful in the prevention of the spread of the virus. There have also been articles and videos released by the Ministry on their website talking about the importance of masks, ways of proper usage, ways of disinfecting the masks at home, the techniques of ensuring the sanitation of the same. The letter specifically talked about the proper usage of the masks, only by designated health workers or sanitary.
The Health Ministry further advised that “Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member of a family should have a separate face cover.”
(This News has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.)