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

Published on March 31, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.