Omicron Threat: Why are cloth masks unsafe, what type of masks should we use; Read to know
Experts believe that cloth masks aren’t much useful, so what should we use? Read to knowAuthor : Mohsin kamal
There is not much one can do when it comes to the pandemic. No immediate medicine or treatment can be sought. But there are a few things that are very helpful. With the new Covid variant– Omicron– starting to spread, it has yet again come to the point when people need to take utmost precautions.
Wearing masks is one of the most important exercises to stop the spread of this deadly virus. However, is every mask as safe as we think? The answer is: no. We need to make sure we are wearing a mask that really doesn’t allow germs to enter our respiratory system. So, what type of mask should we wear? Let’s try to look at what experts suggest.
Many people, mostly in rural India, opt to wear a cloth mask. But as per recent advice from experts, the cloth mask isn't the recommended one. It doesn’t safeguard us from the virus, at least not fully. As the cloth mask isn’t shaped in a way that it can stop large droplets from passing through, wearing one can expose people to the virus.
According to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 75% of leakage occurs through cloth masks, which is highly dangerous. CNN medical analyst Dr. Liana Wen recently said that cloth masks are nothing but mere face decorations when it comes to fighting against Covid.
Then, what’s the right kind of mask that one should wear? Protection-wise, N-95 masks offer at least 95% safety while disposable masks/surgical masks are 85% safe.
According to Wen, people should use at least a three-layer surgical mask. It is the same mask that we call disposable mask. We can put on the cloth mask alongside it as well or a double mask.
Apart from the kind of mask, we also need to ensure that masks are worn properly. That is, no leaking or space for droplets to enter should be left open. This is to not allow anything to enter our mouth or nose.