During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been extremely active in taking necessary steps. Nowadays, whenever we hear ‘mask’ saying, ‘Do gaj doori, mask hai zaroori!’ immediately starts to ring a bell.
With the rising numbers of active cases in the country, the centre has been reiterating the requirement of wearing masks. To support the public in coping with the rise in active cases, the Health Ministry has been constantly providing guidelines and has been suggesting various ways one can use and dispose of masks.
In the document titled, ‘Detail Question and Answers on COVID-19 for Public’ the Ministry has suggested the ways one can responsibly use, take-off, and dispose of face masks.
These suggestions are:
1. Remember, a mask should only be used by health workers, care takers, and individuals with respiratory symptoms, such as fever and cough.
2. Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
3. Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
4. Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
5. Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
6. Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
7. Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
8. After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
9. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
10. Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.