Reeling under the second and even stronger wave of the pandemic, India and many countries of the world have reported an increasing number of people getting affected by the respiratory virus. Even as vaccinations continue to be administered, the only way to fight the condition is through precautions and preventive measures. The best way to do that apart from handwashing and hygiene is wearing masks properly.
In an Instagram Reel video, Dr Shriram Nene, cardiothoracic surgeon and healthcare innovator, and husband of actor Madhuri Dixit, demonstrated how to wear which type of masks properly.
“Two cloth masks worn one over the other or use one N95 mask,” he said.
What is the right way to cover your nose and mouth?
“Do not put the masks under the nose, or just cover the mouth, and certainly not over your eyes. Good health,” he mentioned.
Indianexpress.com reached out to a doctor to under why a double-layered mask is better.
Dr Jyoti Mutta, senior consultant, Microbiology, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute explained:
The term simply refers to wearing two masks for better safety. As we are aware the speed of infection of this new variant is potentially high, we need to go a bit far with precautionary measures. Hence the idea of double-layered might be more advisable as it can ensure comparatively better protection from the infection. “Going back to the time when this new variant had hit the UK, due to the rapid spread of virus there also, a double-layered mask was suggested.
While an N-95 mask with proper fitting can ensure almost the same level of safety, a double-layered mask is considered a good option. That is also because we have witnessed that the masks many people are wearing are either quality compromised or they are too loose and hanging down from their nose,” she said.
According to the doctor, every moment we come out in the contact of open air, the infection-prone areas on our body should be protected and at the same time breathing should not be obstructed.
“At a time when people are struggling between life and death in hospitals, we are supposed to invest more in our masks, and other safety measures. Whether we accept it or not but wearing masks properly potentially saves lives,” she mentioned.
The proper way of wearing a double-layered mask
Like Dr Nene demonstrated, one can wear two cotton cloth masks together or a surgical mask layered with another mask over it. Some people have issues with synthetic clothes so they can opt to wear two cotton cloth masks together but the required hygiene should be maintained. “Also they should be fit on the face. They should not be too tight to cause rashes and even not too loose to let the infection in,” she mentioned.
She added that one should avoid frequent touching of the mask they are wearing with bare hands.
Dr Mutta advised that one should avoid wearing torn masks. Masks should be washed with soap water after everyday use if they are washable and disposed of if not washable. Every member of the family should have separate masks and they must not be exchanged at all.
However, even with double-layered mask-wearing, ensure you follow other precautionary measures too.
“Even after wearing masks, one is at the risk of getting infected if precautionary measures are not followed. Maintain social distancing, repeatedly sanitise and wash hands etc,” she mentioned.