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What are good quality masks? Do masks have negative effects? Find out...

Friday, May 29, 2020 • Telugu Comments
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What are good quality masks? Do masks have negative effects? Find out...

Wearing face masks is mandatory in Covid-19 times.  With indisputable evidence emerging that masks are as important as social distancing in the fight against Covid-19, masks are now an integral part of our lives.  We are busy getting our quota of masks from the market place, but are they really of high quality?

Recently, the Union Minister of Health said that the quality of N95 masks (as well as PPEs) produced in the country for government procurement is good.  Labs designated by the Ministry of Textiles are testing their standard, post which the procurement of N95 marks happens.

However, N95 marks are not prescribed for the general public.  Most of the commoners are using cloth masks manufactured locally.  If a cloth mask comes with several layers of cotton fabric, it can be effective against preventing droplet and aerosol spread.  If they are of poor quality, their effectiveness decreases by many times.

A recent Times Of India report says that a "commercial mask which is made of four-layer cotton muslin can reduce all particles by 99%."  It adds, "If at least 60% of the population wore masks that are just 60% effective in blocking viral transmission — like homemade cloth masks," it will be great.   A study recently said that "surgical masks are three times better than homemade masks at preventing viral transmission."

A recent report says that disposable masks should be avoided by commoners.  Cloth masks are said to be the best.

Can masks be dangerous?

There is this fear among many that face masks can lead to breathing issues.  After all, we are having to wear a mask for long hours to prevent coronavirus.  Increased levels of carbon dioxide concentration can be a problem, many think.

Experts, however, differ.  They say that cloth masks are absolutely safe if worn in the right way.  Unless they are worn in the wrong way, there is no risk.  On the other hand, N95 marks can be risky at times.

The scenario in the Telugu States:

Like in the rest of the country, masks on sale in retail shops come with several degrees of quality in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.   A few manufacturers have started producing designer masks, which can be personalized. Reusable and washable masks of good quality are available.

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