- Fabric face masks can be used when you are in crowded places
- They should be cleaned after every use with soap and water
- Do not wear the mask if it is wet or dirty
Coronavirus prevention: Fabric face masks tend to be more comfortable and breathable. They are also reusable and therefore more convenient. As part of its latest guidelines, the World Health Organization has stated new guidelines for wearing face masks for prevention of COVID-19 infection. You need to make sure that the mask fits you properly and you avoid touching the outside surface of it when outside. In a video released by WHO on its website recently, Dr April Baller, Infection Prevention And Control, WHO Health Emergencies Programme talks about how to wear a fabric mask and the things you need to keep in mind while using it.
Coronavirus prevention: How to wear a fabric face mask?
Fabric mask or non-medical mask can be used by the general public in areas where there are many people infected with COVID-19 in the community, and physical distancing of at least one metre cannot be achieved, says Dr Baller in WHO's IGTV.
A wide variety of masks are available in stores, and you can also make one at home. "These masks act as a barrier so that you can protect those around you. They should ideally be made of at least three layers of fabric," Dr Baller says in the video.
The outer layer of the mask should have a water-resistant fabric. The inner layer should be water-absorbent and the middle layer should act as a filter. Watch this video to know how to make face masks at home.
1. Before wearing a fabric face mask, you need to clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Spend 20-30 seconds in case of sanitiser and 40-60 seconds for washing hands with soap and water.
2. Pick up the mask and inspect it. It should be clean and not damaged.
3. Place the mask on your face, covering your nose, mouth and chin. Make sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
4. To avoid contamination, do not touch the mask while wearing it. If you accidentally do touch the mask, clean your hands again.
How to take off a fabric face mask?
1. Before touching the mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
2. As you remove the mask, lean forward slightly, and remove the loops from behind the ears, without touching the front of the mask.
3. Do not forget to wash your hands after taking off the mask.
Fabric face mask for coronavirus prevention: Other tips to keep in mind
"Make sure that you have your own mask. Do not share it with anyone," asserts Dr Baller in the video.
If the fabric mask is not soiled or wet, and you need to reuse it, you can store it in a clean, resealable bag. But, if the mask is dirty, wash it with soap and water, preferably at high temperatures after each day of use. "Remember, a mask alone cannot protect you from COVID-19. It must be combined with protective measures including maintaining at least one metre distance from others and washing hands frequently," she adds.
Stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.