COVID-19: Experts warn against excessive use of single face mask
Srinagar: Medical experts in Jammu and Kashmir Monday warned against the excessive use of single and used face masks of an individual saying that both are potent to carry and transmit the infection besides if used for long can be harmful to health.
There were reports that people especially in remote areas make excessive use of single face masks and even some individuals put on used masks amid the resurgence of Covid-19 pandemic infections risking their own and others’ life.
Medical experts in the valley said that excessive use of face masks can prove harmful and lead to infections to individuals and also the mask used by someone else should not be used by another person since one doesn’t know what it may be carrying with it.
Head of the Department (HOD) Community Medicines Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar Dr. Salem Khan said that every mask has a separate way to use like the triple-layer surgical mask should not be used for more than 8 hours since the inner portion gets moisturized with which it loses the effectiveness.
He said that the cotton masks used by people these days should be washed properly and detergents should be used to clean it besides ironing it.
“Mask hygiene is very important and it is supposed to be changed regularly and also can be used on rotational bases rather than regular after following proper procedure to make it safe to wear,” he said. “If fiber gets contaminated the masks are not that potent and effective.”
Salim said that it was wrong to use a face mask of any other individual since one doesn’t know what infections the inner portion of the mask has on it.
“Masks should not be shared with any other individual”, he said.
Well-known pulmonologist of the valley Dr. Khursheed said that a mask used by an individual has all the germs on it in the inner layer and anyone else using the same mask will inhale them as long they (insects/ germs) are there depending on the type of mask.
He said that every mask has a separate way to use and dispose of.
“Mask used by an individual stops the germs on the outer layer and even a hand should not be used directly to take off the mask since it may be having infection on it,” Khurshid said.
Khursheed said that every mask has a life and cannot be used excessively. “Mask used during the day should be disposed of in the evening,” he said.
He said that in case of unavailability of masks an individual should have at least a couple of face masks and keep the used mask at a particular place packed for 5-6 days so that all the possible infection on it ends (insect dies) so that shelf-life of the mask increases.
“The best thing is to avoid excessive use of a single face mask and dispose of it in the evening after using it in the day to avoid getting infection,” Khurshid added. (KNO)