Unnecessary use of masks can lead to shortage, says AP government

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on March 25, 2020

Is it necessary for a healthy person to use a face mask as a precautionary measure in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak?

The answer is absolutely not, and unnecessary used can actually lead to supply constraints as days go by. “Routine use of masks by all is not deemed to be helpful and is not recommended,” the Andhra Pradesh government said in a health advisory.

It prescribed rational use of personal protective equipment for suspected/confirmed Covid-19 patients only. “The masks are for symptomatic people and healthcare workers and general public has to know that they don’t need any masks,” the advisory said.

Only healthcare workers, laboratory staff, housekeeping staff (those entering room/screening areas of suspected/confirmed patients and visitors need to wear masks.

Other staff not directly exposed to any Covid-19 activity, and the general public, may avoid them.

With the estimates suggesting that Covid-19 cases in India are set to go up significantly, any unnecessary use of personal protective equipment may lead to shortage for those engaged in providing essential services going forward.

Published on March 25, 2020

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