Coronavirus: Government issues warning against using N-95 masks with valved respirators

Sakal Times News Desk
Tuesday, 21 July 2020

In a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) wrote that it has been observed that the public, other than the designated health workers, are making "inappropriate use" of N-95 masks, specifically the ones with valved respirators.

In a letter to all states and union territories, the Central Government has now issued a warning against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators by people, clearly stating that these masks do not prevent the coronavirus from spreading and are in fact, "detrimental" to all the containment efforts.

The letter addressed to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, written by the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) states that it has been observed that the public, other than the designated health workers, are making "inappropriate use" of N-95 masks, specifically the ones with valved respirators.

"I would like to draw your attention to the advisory on the use of home-made protective cover for face and mouth available on the website of the MoHFW," read the statement by the DGHS as reported by PTI.

The official referred to the advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth available on the website of the Ministry of Health. This advisory had been issued by the central government in April, asking people to use a homemade protective cover for face and mouth, particularly when they step outside of their residences. The advisory stressed that such face covers must also be washed and cleaned each day, as instructed, and stated that any used cotton cloth can be used to make this face cover. The colour of the fabric does not matter but one must ensure that the fabric is washed well in boiling water for five minutes and dried well before making the face cover.

DGHS Rajiv Garg in the letter said, "It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks."
 

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