DGIS, Health Ministry Warns Against use of N-95 Masks with Valved Respirators

Dharamshala: While the use of face mask is highly encouraged ever since the outbreak of Wuhan COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus, the recent study in India has shown the usage of N-95 with the valved respirator does not prevent the virus from spreading and therefore warned against its use by the Government of India.

Doctor Rajiv Garg, Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI addressed this crucial issue and wrote a letter to Principal Secretaries (Health) of all states and Medical Education of States on his observation that there is “inappropriate use” of N-95 masks, particularly those with valved respirators by the public other than designated health workers.

“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 doesn’t prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask”, says the letter

Any, N-95 mask which has a raised plastic gasket stitched in its fiber is used to filter the air when you breathe in, however, when you breathe out, the air does not get filtered. Hence, if you are an asymptomatic carrier of the novel coronavirus, it becomes very easy for you to infect others by releasing the unfiltered exhaled air to escape into the surrounding air.

Instead Center encouraged the public to use surgical or home-made face masks, referring to the advisory issued in April on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth by health ministry;

1. Any used cotton cloth can be used to make this face cover, you must ensure that you wash the fabric well in boiling water for 5 minutes and dry it well before making the face cover.
2. Ensure that the face cover fits around your mouth and nose with no gap in-between.
3. You must never reverse the face cover for reuse. Always thoroughly wash it after every use.
4. Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member of a family should have a separate face cover.
5. Thoroughly wash the face cover in soap and warm water and leave it to dry in the hot sun for at least 5 hours.

Therefore, the Department of Health, CTA urge everyone to stop using valve respirators and opt for surgical or cloth mask to protect.