India’s federal government has issued a warning for the public against using N-95 masks with valved respirators as it has come to the notice of the government that the features are being inappropriately used.
The Director General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health wrote to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states saying some inappropriate use of the valved N95 masks has come to the notice of the government and that it might be “detrimental” for health.
“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,” DGHS Rajiv Garg said in the letter, Hindustan Times reports.
“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.”
The Health Ministry earlier in April issued an advisory urging Indians to make use of homemade layered cloth face masks and use them while going outside. The advisory suggested washing the masks daily and a cotton fabric might be used as well.
Although making face masks at home must be done in adherence to the protocol that includes ensuring a tight and gapless fit, washing the mask in boiling water, and never resulting without washing or sharing the same with others.
The Indian government is not the only body advising for adopting cloth face masks. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting,” America’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) wrote in a public advisory.
Coronavirus tally in India is at an all-time high, with an increasing number of testing, there has been a growth in the number of reported cases. At present, a total of 1,194,888 cases have been recorded with 28,771 fatalities; 753,050 have so far recovered, according to data from Worldometers.