The coronavirus epidemic has the world shocked at the death toll and anxious at the fear of the virus residing in their loved ones, undetected. As of 28 February, novel coronavirus has claimed 2788 lives in China, in addition to 70 deaths in nine other countries.
India has scaled up its precautionary measures, screening thousands of people at international airports and evacuating citizens from countries vulnerable to the disease.
The scenario is grim across the world and especially in Asia, where the virus as been galloping fiercely. This coronavirus, originating from animals, has been termed Covid-19. Although not a pandemic yet, it is something we need to be careful about. For starters, we must invest in a good mask that lowers our risk of catching the virus and be extra careful around people showing symptoms of Covid-19.
For detailed information on the symptoms of the virus, click on this link.
Masks – Do They Help Prevent Coronavirus?
The coronavirus outbreak has forced people to wear surgical masks as a first line of defence. In Delhi, for instance, the sale of masks rose to such high levels that many shops ran out of them within a few days!
Understanding the type of mask that lowers your risk of catching the virus is just as important as knowing how to wear it. Remember, coronavirus is an airborne disease but physical touch from an infected person can also transmit it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA says, “Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).”
N95 masks with proper air filter systems can prevent 95-99 per cent PM2.5 particles from entering our system. Often used as protection against pollution, these masks can also protect you upto a certain degree from the coronavirus. To purchase one such reusable mask, click here.
Are you Wearing the Mask Correctly?
A person touches their face an average of 3.6 times per hour. On the off chance that you have touched a person showing symptoms of coronavirus, you don’t want your hands to touch the mask. So here’s the proper way to wear a mask:
- If the mask has a steel plate for support, press that over the bridge of your nose and place it firmly in position.
- Pull the strings or elastic over your ears, stretching the mask as you do it. Place the string/elastic over your ears.
- The mask must cover your nose, mouth and chin. Its end should rest on your throat, not the chin.
- When you are back home, pull the strings/elastic with both your hands, remove the mask and discard it or disinfect it. Make sure you touch only the strings, not the mask.
Other Precautions to Prevent Coronavirus:
Wearing a proper mask is crucial but you also need to take the following precautions:
- Avoid contact with people who are showing symptoms like cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever or breathing difficulties. If you are showing these signs, wear a mask and avoid stepping out.
- Always sneeze or cough in a tissue and discard it right away.
- Wash your hands after you sneeze, cough and after going to the bathroom or socialising. Make sure you wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap.
- Keep a hand sanitiser on your person, always.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects that have a chance of being touched by other people too – including your devices.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)