Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been advising on the use of double masks to check the spread of COVID-19 in the State.
“Masks play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19. With the rise in COVID-19 cases, we should start using double masks,” he said on Monday.
He insisted on the use of double masks during his press meet on Tuesday too.
Then why does he insist on double masks at this point?
Double masks refer to the practice of wearing two face masks and they reduce the exposure to the coronavirus.
A study by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States has found that wearing two masks reduces the exposure to the virus nearly by 95 per cent.
How double masks ensure added protection from coronavirus?
Wearing a second mask on top of a first mask will reduce the amount of air leaks and reduce the number of respiratory droplets containing the virus that come through the masks.
Which is the best mask combination?
The best combination is using a surgical mask with cloth. You can wear a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask.
What are the precautions to be taken while using two masks together?
You should not combine two surgical masks.
You should not combine a KN95 mask with any other masks.
You should use one KN95 mask at a time.
How to double mask using ‘knot & tuck’ method?
Double masking with cloth and surgical masks can prevent the air leakage better.
You should knot the ear loops of surgical masks and attach to the masks' edges and then tuck and flatten the cloth close to the face.
How effective are double masks in preventing cough particles?
A combination of cloth and surgical mask block cough particles up to 85.4 per cent.
In contrast, unknotted surgical mask blocks only 56.1 per cent of the cough particles, while cloth mask blocks 51.4 per cent cough particles
Knot and tuck surgical mask block 77 per cent of the cough particles.
How to ensure that your mask is fitting right?
Your mask should press in with air flow when you breathe in. If your glasses fog up, it means that the air is escaping.
How does a beard affect mask fitting?
Certain facial hair like beards can make mask fitting difficult. So it is better to shave beards or trim them close to the face.
Those who have beards should take care while using double masks. The second mask should push the edges of the inner mask snugly against the face and beard.
How to improve your mask fit?
You may use cloth or surgical masks that have a nose wire (a metal strip along the top of the mask) to help prevent air leakage at the top of the mask. Nose wires also help to prevent fogging of eyeglasses. To get a good fit, make sure to bend the nose wire over your nose to conform to your face. Mask fitters and braces can be used over surgical masks to improve the fit and reduce air leakage.