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It's a proven fact now that face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help restrict the spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now include face masks in their recommendations for slowing the spread of novel coronavirus. It should be noted that at the beginning of the pandemic, masks weren't recommended for the general public. But this changed as new data showed that the virus can easily spread via asymptomatic patients as well.

We have seen that nations who mandated wearing masks in public places contained the novel coronavirus infection effectively. In contrast, the nations who didn't bother to take masks and other coronavirus SOPs seriously are still ravaged by the viral disease.

For example, the United States is divided to date regarding the effectiveness of masks. According to public health experts, it is one of the reasons why the US has suffered such great devastation at the hands of the flu bug.

The World Health Organization endorses wearing masks in public. WHO has asked the people to make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The latest guidelines say:

Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.

The UN health body recommends to follow these basics of how to wear a mask:

  • 1) Sanitize your hands- either with hand sanitizers or soap- before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off.

  • 2) Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth, and chin.

Types of masks:

There are three main types of masks recommended by health experts. These include surgical, N95, and fabric masks. These are available easily in most regions of the world nowadays courtesy of the enormous boom in the medical supplies industry in this pandemic.

Various types of masks available in the market. (Image courtesy: LLU)
Various types of masks available in the market. (Image courtesy: LLU)

  • WHO guidelines regarding the usage of certain types of masks are as follows:

Wear a fabric mask unless you’re in a particular risk group. This is especially important when you can’t stay physically distanced, particularly in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor settings.

Wear a medical/surgical mask if you:

  • Are a healthcare provider,
  • Are over 60,
  • Have underlying medical conditions,
  • Are feeling unwell, and/or
  • Are looking after an ill family member.

This viral disease will only be contained if all members of the community take part in making sure the SOPs are being followed in public places. So wear masks and socially distance yourself from others.