By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 21 May 2020
The Coronavirus largely spreads either through respiratory droplets or through contact with the infected person (known as contact transmission). On the one hand, respiratory droplets are produced from an infected person while coughing or sneezing. Any person within one-meter distance is at a higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus. On the other hand, contact transmission happens when the droplets land on surfaces where the virus can survive. A healthy person can be infected by touching these surfaces. Hence, many countries are suggesting their citizens to wear masks apart from following hand hygiene and practising social distancing. Wearing masks is critical particularly in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain; for example, pharmacies and grocery stores.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the usage of masks as a scientifically valid and practical measure for everyone’s safety and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO has advised respective countries to consider various factors like number of cases, risk of exposure, population of the country, the availability and the cost of masks before deciding on the public use of masks.
The main reason why you should consider wearing a mask is to restrict the spread of the Coronavirus. You may not be aware whether you or someone near you is infected as the symptoms of COVID-19 appear gradually. However, wearing a mask will ensure that neither you nor the people in your vicinity spread the Coronavirus in case of COVID-19 infection. The masks may also serve as a reminder to practice social distancing in public areas; wearing masks alone cannot prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
However, certain individuals like children aged below two years, people who are unconscious, and others who are unable to remove the masks by themselves are not recommended to wear masks.
Any face covering made of fabric such as T-shirts, cotton cloth, bed sheets or bandanas can serve as a mask, as long as it allows for comfortable breathing. You just need to make sure that the face mask covers the mouth and nose, and fits you well. It should be secured properly with either knots or ear loops, and should allow you to breathe freely.
You do not need to wear surgical masks, N95 masks, or medical masks unless you are a health worker. However, you can wear the mask if you either have some kind of infection or you are taking care of someone infected with the Coronavirus.
Studies have revealed that the following individuals are at a higher risk from getting affected by COVID-19. Hence, medical masks can be recommended for such people:
Irrespective of the type of mask you use, it is important to use and dispose of a mask appropriately. Only then it will be effective in controlling the spread of the Coronavirus.
WHO has outlined the correct way of wearing masks; we have listed them for you below:
Wearing masks alone cannot stop the spread of the Coronavirus. However, when combined with the practices given below, we can reduce the spreading of the Coronavirus:
If you have any questions related to Coronavirus, you can consult our team of expert doctors through online doctor consultation.
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Surfaces of our household objects are one of the major sources of Coronavirus transmission. Hence, we should disinfect these surfaces regularly using the disinfectants mentioned in this article.
Recently the UK became the first country in the west to license a fully tested COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries, including India, have also followed suit.
It is quite normal to be worried about getting infected by Coronavirus when stepping out to buy groceries. However, you can take some precautions mentioned in this article to ensure your safety.
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