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Coronavirus: Health Ministry urges people to use homemade face masks

Coronavirus pandemic: The ministry said that along with social distancing, homemade face covers would effective in maintaining personal hygiene and will ensure overall hygienic health conditions.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 4, 2020 12:23:21 pm
face masks, types of face masks, homemade face masks, face masks homemade, coronavirus, coronavirus India, coronavirus global updates, coronavirus death toll, coronavirus death toll India, COVID-19, India news, Indian Express People wearing protective masks at Khan Market in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal/File)

As the cases of coronavirus touched nearly 3,000 in India on Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare urged people to use homemade face masks even if they didn’t show symptoms of the infection. The ministry said that along with social distancing, homemade face covers would effective in maintaining personal hygiene and will ensure overall hygienic health conditions.

“It is suggested that such people who are not suffering from medical condition or having breathing difficulties may use the handmade reusable face cover, particularly when they step out of their house. This will help in protecting the community at large,” it said in a press release.

However, the ministry added that this will not be applicable for either health workers or those in close contact with COVID-19 patients as they require a specified protective gear.

“It is advised that two sets of such face covers be made so that one can be washed while the other is used,” the ministry said in its release. “Hand washing would still remain essential criteria and hand should be washed before wearing the face cover,” the ministry advised. It added that it would help protect the community at large.

It added that the face cover should be made in such a manner that it can cover the mouth and the nose completely and can be tied over the face easily.

See pictures | How to make face masks at home: A step-by-step guide

In March, the government had declared 2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks and N95 masks “essential commodities” after reports of panic buying to stock the same. The government’s decision was also made after as the item started selling at exorbitant prices in many cities of the country.

The US administration on Saturday too urged its citizens to voluntarily use non-medical masks as an additional public health measure to fight the coronavirus. Citing the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Trump urged people to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks, but to keep medical-grade masks available for the health workers.

“The CDC is not recommending the use of medical-grade or surgical-grade masks. Those needs to be used for medical people working to save lives of Americans. Medical protective gear must be reserved for the front-line healthcare workers who are performing those vital services,” he said.

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