Since the Pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus behind the Coronavirus disease, the face masks have become mandatory in China and other asian countries such as South Korea and Japan.
Some municipalities in China have made some compulsory face mask policies while going outside, however China’s National guidelines taking a risk in offering recommendations for using face masks among health-care workers and the general public.
We analyzed face mask recommendations by different organizations. Despite the consistency in the recommendation that individuals with symptoms and those in health care settings should use face masks. For example, the US Surgeon General doesn’t recommend buying masks by healthy people. One important reason for this discourage widespread use of face masks is to save on supplies for health professionals. Use of face masks in the community is also discouraged with the argument that face masks don’t provide complete protection against Coronavirus.
Recommendations which need to change on the use of face masks:
- You only need to wear face masks if you are taking care of an infected person.
- Surgical and disposable mask are for people at moderate risk of Infection:
Those people working in areas of high population density are at moderate risk of infection(for ex. Hospitals, train stations) and those who live with someone whose work is related to covid-19 (for ex. Police, Security and administrative staff).
- Disposable mask are for people at low risk of infection:
Those people who stay in the areas of high population density are at low risk of infection (for ex. Supermarket, Shopping mall), who seek health care in medical institutions (other than fever clinics).
- People at very low risk of infection don’t have to wear mask or can wear cloth face mask:
Those people are at very low risk of infection who mostly stay at home and who work or study in well ventilated areas.
- Surgical masks can protect you from the respiratory viruses from infected peoples. It is essential for people who have symptoms to wear a surgical mask.
- Everyone has to wear surgical masks while travelling through public transport or passing through crowded places. It is also important to maintain good hygiene like washing your hands before wearing and after taking off the mask.
- Face masks are more effective in the ventilated spaces, it can help to avoid catching droplets emitted from others, but they are efficient in an open air environment.
- The Center of Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend people to wear mask who are well.
- US Surgeon General stopping people from buying masks with his tweets.
The Health Organizations and Governments need to make rational recommendations on appropriate face mask use to complement their recommendations on other preventive measures, such as hand hygiene. It should be recommended to the people who are quarantined wear face masks if they have to go outside. In addition, Older adults and those who are underlying medical conditions, should wear face masks if available.