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Make masks at home; ‘they are as good as surgical ones in containing Covid-19’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on March 31, 2020

These cotton masks are easy to make, easily breathable and can be reused if properly washed and dried   -  PTI

Principal Scientific Adviser releases manual to make masks at home

Considering the acute shortage of masks, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, K VijayRaghavan, has come out with a manual for making re-useable masks at home, using cotton cloth.

Masks lower the chances of coronavirus entering the respiratory system through droplets from an infected person. According to a recent study in the New England Medical Journal, SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes Covid-19 — can be detected in aerosols for up to three hours and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to three days.

Effective, reusable

The manual released by the top scientific officer said masks made of a double-layered cotton cloth are capable of trapping most tiny particles of .02 micron size (up to five times smaller than coronavirus). In tests carried out by scientists, while a surgical mask captured 97 per cent of the particles of this size, the re-useable cotton mask captured 70 per cent of smaller particles.

Considering that coronavirus is at least five times bigger than these particles, the home-made masks are as good as surgical masks in containing the spread of Covid-19 infection, as per the manual.

Besides, the cotton masks are easy to make, allow one to breathe easily and can be reused if properly washed and dried.

The statement said that if 80 per cent of the population wears the mask, the outbreak can be stemmed immediately.

The proposed guide provides a simple outline of the best practices to make, use and reuse masks to enable NGOs and individuals to accelerate their adoption across India.

For instructions on how to create a mask, click on bit.ly/makecoronamask

Published on March 31, 2020

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