As per rules and regulations amid COVID-19 pandemic, everyone must wear a mask when going out in public places Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: The Union ministry of health has warned the people against the use of N95 masks with respirator valves in them. In a letter issued by director-general of health services Rajiv Garg, it said: “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N95 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.”

As per the rules and regulations during the pandemic outbreak in the country, everyone must wear a mask when going out in public places as this prevents the spread of novel coronavirus among people. But, the recent finding by the health ministry suggests the wearing of a valved N95 mask can actually be harmful and may not protect against the novel coronavirus.

The ministry has further urged the public to wear home-made face masks instead. One can also use a cotton cloth to cover their face properly without leaving any gaps on the sides. The ministry has also suggested people to wash their home-made masks regularly using boiling water for atleast 5 minutes after every use to prevent getting infected.

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The Indian Council of Medical Research advises washing your hands for atleast 20 seconds before wearing a mask and after taking it off. In case someone doesn’t have access to soap, they can also use alcohol based sanitisers.

Also, while wearing masks, one must ensure that the face mask fits properly on their face covering their nose, mouth and chin.

To take off a mask, one is advised to first clean their hands with alcohol based sanitiser and then remove it. They should immediately wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after removing the face mask.

As per medical experts, one must change their mask every 8 hours and strictly avoid wearing wet masks.

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