Government’s manual to prepare homemade masks for all

Government’s manual to prepare homemade masks for all

April 4, 2020

New Delhi: The office of the Government’s Principal Scientific Advisor on Tuesday issued a detailed manual to prepare homemade masks using easily available items like old vests, t-shirts and handkerchiefs, stressing they are “70 percent effective” in curbing the spread of Coronavirus. Masks lower the chances of Coronavirus entering the respiratory system through droplets left in the air from an infected person.

Wearing masks is especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas, the manual states.

Reducing the chances of inhaling the virus by wearing a protective mask cleaned thoroughly using a combination of approaches that use heat, ultraviolet light, water, soap and alcohol, will be vital to stopping its spread, the manual states.

“A double layer of 100 per cent cotton cloth is about 70 percent as effective as a surgical mask at capturing small particles (up to five times smaller than coronavirus). This material is breathable and it is easy to find around the house. These masks can be easily reused,” the manual states.

Before making the masks, the fabric should be washed well and boiled for 5 minutes. Adding salt to this water is recommended, as per the manual.

It states that homemade reusable masks only reduce the chances of inhaling droplets still in the air from an infected person.

“They do not give full protection. Homemade reusable masks must be washed and heated each day, as instructed. Reuse without washing should not be done,” it adds.

The manual is meant to provide a simple outline of best practices to make, use and reuse masks to enable NGOs and individuals to self-create such masks and accelerate widespread adoption of masks across India, a statement said.


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