Warn against use of N95 masks with valves
Nashik: On the backdrop of warning issued by Ministry of Health against the inappropriate use of valved N95 masks, critical care physician and president of Indian Medical Association, Sameer Chandratre has recommended use of five layer masks or homemade masks stating that N95 masks with valves can be detrimental for preventing COVID-19.
"At offices or public addresses in any European or western country, use of N95 masks with respiratory valve has been completely banned. On the other hand, in our country due to unawareness most of the people use it as fashion but this is not affordable for common man due to its higher cost," said Dr Chandratre.
Appealing people to avoid use of valved respirator N95 masks, the IMA president said that under the N95 valve mask jet steam is created when we breathe out that increases risk of transmission The valve can be dysfunctional at any time. This is risky.
When used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, valved masks would protect the user but could potentially end up harming others near them, he said.
"A minimum of 5-layered mask is necessary to prevent spread of the COVID-19.
About the use of mask wearing technique, he said that everybody should wear mask after brush in the morning and should not remove it until meal or drinking water. You need to wear it daylong and remove it before bed time.
The mask after use should be disposed off or cut with scissors to avoid misuse, he added.
Earlier, the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health, has warned against the inappropriate use of valved N95 masks.
The use of valved respirator N95 masks do not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask, it said.
"The use of valved respirator N95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing spread of coronavirus as it doesn't prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask," the Director-General, Dr Rajiv Garg, wrote in a letter to states and union territories.
He further said that states and union territories should encourage the use of homemade cloth masks, which can be made by following guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.
The advisory comes amid rising concerns over the ineffectiveness of the valved masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.