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FACE MASKS: How and when to use one

Coronavirus is affecting many countries around the world today leaving many people scared, alarmed, and in a panic. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Due to this, practicing proper coughing and sneezing etiquette is very important in combination with proper hand hygiene and social distancing. 

The World Health Organization is encouraging people to use medical masks rationally to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks. Which leaves the question, when do you need to wear a mask and what is the correct way to wear a mask?

WHEN TO USE A MASK?  

  • For healthy people, ONLY use a mask when taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.

  • WEAR A MASK if you are coughing or sneezing. 

  • WEAR A MASK if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms especially coughing.

*Source: World Health Organization

HOW TO PROPERLY USE A FACE MASK? 

  • Wash or clean hands first using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. 

  • Inspect the mask for tears or holes. Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the colored side).

  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it molds to the shape of your nose.

  • Avoid touching the mask while using it, IF YOU DO, execute proper hand hygiene. 

  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and DO NOT reuse single-use masks. Discard the mask in a closed bin and immediately wash or clean hands. 

Reminder:

  • Masks are ONLY EFFECTIVE when used in combination with frequent hand hygiene.

  • If you decide to wear a mask, make sure that you know how to properly use and dispose of it. 

  • The World Health Organization advises the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks. 

As citizens of the world, we should always make sure that we use face masks responsibly. By doing this, we are contributing to help the entire world solve the COVID mystery. Practice hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and always stay safe.

 

 

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