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Covid-19: The do's and don'ts of wearing masks

  • Published at 09:52 am December 21st, 2020
Covid-19 masks
Representational Photo: Bigstock

The World Health Organization has repeatedly warned that there is no alternative to masks to stay safe from Covid-19

While news of Covid-19 vaccines has dominated the front pages in recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly warned that there is no alternative to masks to stay safe from the disease.

Although the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against Covid-19, masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission of the virus and save lives, says WHO.

Masks have been worn by populations worldwide since the start of the pandemic in March and have been deemed by experts as one of the most effective tools for mitigating transmission of Covid-19. However, recent reports indicate that some populations and communities are starting to take more liberties in its use, which may reduce its efficacy significantly. 

To avoid such lapses, a return to strict adherence to the WHO’s guidelines is in order.

“Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible,” says the United Nations agency.

Here are the basics of how to wear a mask, according to the WHO’s guidelines:

  • Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
  • Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth and chin. 
  • When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
  • Do not use masks with valves.

How to wear a non-medical fabric mask safely. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

How children can wear fabric masks. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

How to wear a medical mask safely. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

More specific instructions regarding the use of masks can be found under the Advice for the public section in the WHO’s official website.

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