Guide on Risks of Using Cloth Mask for Protection
CLOTH MASK – Are you using it for protection amid the COVID-19 pandemic? There are some things you must know.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world a “new normal” setting. Many countries are adapting it but hoping that time will come when things will go back to what they were before.
Nowadays, in most countries, the wearing of a face mask is a requirement in public places. Some authorities even back the idea that wearing it even at home can greatly help in curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Furthermore, physical distancing is widely implemented now. The capacity in public transportation, restaurants, and other establishments were reduced to give way for the practice of social distancing.
Unlike before, a mask now is part of the everyday outfit whether you are off to buy some goods at a nearby grocery store, to report to work, to process some documents, etc.
In fact, aside from a face mask, there are establishments that require a face shield upon entry. Most of these establishments are shopping malls and pharmacies.
With regards to mask, there are two (2) common options – a cloth mask and a medical mask. Some people use the former. However, there are risks you must know.
Based on an article on Science Daily, using a cloth mask in an area that has a greater risk of infection like hospitals, especially the emergency room and the intensive care unit, is not advised.
A study conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam showed that the penetration on the cloth mask is almost 97% while the medical mask got 44%. UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine lead study author Professor Raina Maclntyre stressed that medical masks are important most especially for doctors and nurses.
Based on the article, the authors pointed to the reuse of the cloth masks, their moisture retention, and their poor filtration which are the reasons why they are discouraged for usage in high-risk areas.
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