During the COVID-19 outbreak, the local market has been flooded with low-quality Coronavirus face masks. In search of easy money, hundreds of thousands of such face masks made by unauthorized small vendors have found their way on roadside stalls. In reality, these masks made by ordinary fabric offer little to no protection against coronavirus, as they allow air to pass through them. Therefore, the public needs to understand which masks are necessary for saving their lives. Instead of buying any useless piece of cloth, they need to focus on getting the right ones.
N95 face masks are the ones recommended by WHO for fighting COVID-19. But these masks are for doctors at the time, due to their limited availability. The general public can resort to surgical masks, which offer optimum protection. All other cheaper alternatives are just placebos, that trick people into feeling better.
Low effectiveness of cloth masks
Coronavirus face masks made out of cloth and garments are very ineffective in preventing COVID-19. The main reason behind this is their ability to let air pass through carrying COVID-19 virus. Moreover, these masks are not disposable, and many people prefer to use them continuously. Hence, they can actually aid the spreading of COVID-19. The only reason cloth masks were allowed in the first place was due to the shortage of surgical and N95 masks. But these masks are now available in markets along with other better alternatives. So, you do not need to buy such masks from roadsides and other exposed areas. That in itself can be very dangerous and can help the spread of Coronavirus.
Therefore, the public does not need to rely on cloth made Coronavirus face masks that offer little protection.
Prices for high-quality masks
An ineffective cloth mask costs around Rs50 to Rs100 per piece, whereas a better alternative is much cheaper. A disposable surgical masks cost about Rs15 to Rs25 per piece, which is half the price of cloth mask. Whereas N95 masks can cost from Rs 350 to Rs 1200, but this mask is for medical officers, not the general public. That is why they have gone out of stock, and you will not be able to buy them from anywhere. Your main concern is with the more affordable surgical masks, which are available at medical stores. These masks are highly adjustable to your face, making them more comfortable to wear. As the main concern from people wearing Coronavirus face masks is their rigidity, that can cause discomfort.
The cloth masks are very uncomfortable and can hurt your ears and nose quite severely. That is why there is no need to resort to such ineffective alternatives. When surgical masks are widely available, of course, you can resort to cloth masks if no other option is present. But still, you need to remember that these masks are not virus proof and you need to take extra care.
image source: gulfnews