Can we use a homemade face masks? - Medical experts explain… | Eurasia Diary -

3 June, Wednesday

Can we use a homemade face masks? - Medical experts explain…

Despite some contradicting views what WHO say at the end?

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As protection against coronavirus has intensified in recent days, the demand for medical masks and other disinfectants in Baku’s local pharmacies is growing. Medical masks that used to cost at the lowest prices in many pharmacies, have now disappeared.

In fact, medical experts recommend mask with special respirators, such as M3, N95 and other well protective ones, rather than surgical masks to protect against coronavirus and other serious infectious diseases. However, the current situation is obvious. There are no masks, and people search for masks in pharmacies in and outside of capital city. 

If this problem observed from a global aspect, we can say such a problem exists in many other countries, where especially the highest risk of pandemic is indicated. Concerning the face mask crisis in Baku, the local pharmacists explained this issue with pre-orders of the masks by the company managers.    

One of the local pharmacists in Baku said to EDNews that the biggest consumers of face masks are heads of companies and factories, which are operational despite the quarantine rejime. "So, they call pharmacies to order packages of the face mask in advance, and in the morning they fetch their people and sweep away everything that is in the warehouse," he said.

As it got harder for people to find face masks, the situation led to find other ways of solving this issue. A group of local citizens started to produce face masks in home condition not only for their own ue but also for charity purpose. Despite the community express their full satisfaction for this, it in some circumstances face criticism through which it is explained by international experts for their pros and cons. However some of them think positive and say - “it’s better than nothing”.     

In order to fill the cup of interests of community, EDNews made a small research on which type of masks to use for protection from the COVID-19. 

A medical expert, lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institue for Global Affairs Sahn Soe-Lin is a co-author of a widely shared article about the need to cover your face.

In the article she says: - “Cover your face with cloth — however you want to do that,” 

Dr. Soe-Lin said she didn’t understand why public health officials have been so reluctant to recommend nonmedical fabric masks for the public. Even if they aren’t as protective as a medical mask, they are better than nothing, she said.

“We are in the upswing of a pandemic,” Dr. Soe-Lin said. “These cloth masks are protective. It’s a really important complement to the social-distance and hand-washing instructions.”

According to another American medical expert of virology, the preparation of such masks can sometimes lead to other bacteriological diseases. This is because the fabrics used in the production of these masks must be completely sterilized, and the person making them has to make sure that they are following the rules of hygiene.

Besides that, he explained the medical masks should only be produced in special places operating under the supervision of medical institutions.

"If we are talking about the protection from infection, we need to make sure that the medical masks that we use in close contact with mouth and nose are 100% clean. Otherwise, we can get more serious diseases," the expert said answering questions on social network.

Along with the World Health Organization, the CDC is the authoritative body that sets guidelines for the medical community to follow. The CDC's position on homemade masks has changed throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

On March 24, acknowledging a shortage of special masks, one page on the CDC website suggested five alternatives if a health care provider, or HCP, doesn't have access to an N95 mask. 

Here's what one CDC site had to say about homemade masks then:

In settings where face masks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort [our emphasis]. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face. 

by Elnur Enveroglu


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