Medical Mask and Fabric Mask According to WHO

TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – In general, masks are used by the general public and health care personnel to prevent the spread of infection or illness. Yet as Covid-19 case arises, there are lots of choices of mask in the market. Some tend to wear fabric mask and some tend to wear medical mask. But what does WHO say about it?

According to WHO, fabric mask should ideally made of three layers, such as cotton-polypropylene-polyester. It should be secured with elastic loops or ties, includes multiple layers, be washable and reusable.

Meanwhile for medical mask, it’s made of three layers of synthetic nonwoven materials. It configured to have filtration layers sandwiched in the middle. It has various levels of fluid-resistance and filtration. It’s also available in different thicknesses depends on the manufacturer.

Masks reduce potential exposure risk from an infected person whether they have symptoms or not. People wearing masks are protected from getting infected. Masks also prevent onward transmission when worn by a person who is infected.

WHO also said that medical mask should be worn by those people who work in clinical setting, someone who feeling unwell, or those who take care of people with Covid-19. People aged 60 or over are also suggested to wear this kind of mask.

Meanwhile, those people in good condition could use 3 layered fabric masks on certain area where physical distancing couldn’t be maintained.

So, what about those 2 layered fabric masks on the market? Or those scuba masks which only have one layer? Well, according to The Head of Department of Health Cirebon, West Java Edy Sugiarto those kinds of mask will only give you 50% protection and definitely ineffective to fight Covid-19.

Meanwhile, WHO also suggest you to clean your hand before taking off your mask either its medical mask or fabric mask. Resist the temptation to pull down your mask or take if off when speaking to other people. And do not store your mask around your arm or wrist or pull it down to rest around your chin or neck. Instead store it in a clean plastic bag. (*)