Double masks can keep covid at bay: Doctors

Representational Image [Source: Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay]

At a time when the new variants of Covid are proving highly contagious with some studies suggesting the virus may spread through air as well, the doctor here recommend use of double masks preferably by wearing them tightly.

Though N-95 masks are considered gold standard, doctors suggest that even simple surgical masks worn with other type masks can also be effective.

Last year during the first wave of Covid, the health experts were stressing the need for wearing a mask. However, with the mutation, the virus has become more infectious and the Centre for Diseases Centre (CDC) is recommending double masking.

While talking to Greater Kashmir about the importance of wearing double mask, Head, Department of Community Medicines SMHS, Dr. Muhammad Salim Khan said that in comparison with the last year, the virus due to mutation is highly contagious and some studies suggest that it has become now airborne.  “Therefore, the stress on the double mask is laid upon as it ensures prevention of the spread of virus.”

On the best combination of masks, Dr Khan said that there is no hard and fast rule about masks. “Any two types of masks be it surgical or N-95 can be used.”

He said that the positivity rate is much higher and people should follow all Covid appropriate behaviour norms in letter and spirit.

Senior critical care expert, Dr Showkat Shah also advised people to wear double masks in order to prevent the spread of virus. “There are many studies which show that this mutated virus can spread through air, therefore, wear two masks as it minimizes chances of exposure to virus.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines that include wearing well-fitting face masks or two masks at a time to help curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

The updated guidance follows the release of new research from the CDC which tested various masks in a lab setting and found evidence that combining a cloth mask over a surgical mask could dramatically reduce both the spread of the virus to others and exposure to the virus oneself.

The CDC’s new recommendations advice to select masks with a nose wire that can be adjusted for a snug fit, and to use a mask fitter or brace to better seal their masks.