The government on India has written to states and UTs over the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators deeming them inadequate to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health, in a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, said that there has been an “inappropriate use” of N-95 masks, particularly those with valved respirators, by the public other than designated health workers.
“It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks,” DGHS Rajiv Garg said in the letter.
The government in April also issued an advisory on the use of masks made at home. In the advisory, the government has asked people to use homemade masks but also clean them in boiling water for five minutes and dry well before making the face cover. Adding salt to this water is recommended, it said.
“Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have separate face cover,” the advisory stated.