The current route of human to human spread of Coronavirus is majorly via respiratory droplets or contact. Any person who is in close contact, within one meter, with someone who has respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and coughing is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets.
Wearing a medical mask is one of the preventive measures to limit spread of this respiratory disease in affected areas. However, the use of mask alone is not sufficient to provide the adequate level of protection. If masks are to be used, it should be combined with hand hygiene and other IPC measures to prevent human-human transmission of the virus.
Wearing masks when not indicated can lead to a false sense of security and negligence of other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices. Furthermore, using a mask incorrectly may hamper its effectiveness to reduce the risk of transmission.
Few Precautions to be taken in the affected geographies:
- Avoid crowded spaces
- Maintain atleast 1 meter distance
- Perform hand-hygiene frequently (wash hands every hour and use an alcohol based cleaner for in-between)
- if coughing or sneezing, cover nose with fixed elbow or paper tissue. Dispose immediately and perform hand hygiene.
Advice on Homecare
Relatives or caregivers to individuals with suspected mild respiratory problem or coronavirus should:
- perform hand hygiene frequently
- keep distance from affected individual as much as possible
- wear a medical mask when in the same room as the individual
- improve airflow in living space by opening windows as much as possible.
Individuals with respiratory symptoms should:
- wear a medical mask while in transportation facility or in waiting areas or in triage.
- wear a medical mask when staying in areas with suspected cases or confirmed cases.
- do no wear medical mask when alone in a room, but cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with tissues or cloth. Dispose them immediately and perform hand hygiene.
If medical masks are worn, appropriate use and disposal is essential to ensure they are effective and to avoid any risk of transmission with incorrect use and disposal of masks.
- Place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose and tie securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask.
- While in use, avoid touching the mask.
- Remove the mask only from the laces and dispose them. Do not touch the front of the mask. Immediately, wash your hands.
- Replace masks with a new clean dry unit, once the mask becomes damp and humid.
- Do not re-use single use masks.
- Cloth masks are not recommended.
How to put on the mask?
Before putting on the mask, clean hands with soap and water thoroughly. Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between the face and the mask. If you touch the mask while wearing, please wash your hands again.
Masks are effective only in combination with hand hygiene. So, please take care of your loved ones and yourself carefully. These are tough times.
Humanity above all, thank you!