Masks help prevent the spread of respiratory infections through the air
Why should we wear a mask?
Because they are effective for protecting ourselves and others. Countries that got the Covid-19 epidemic under control before letting their healthcare systems collapse, such as Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong or South Korea generally recommend the use of a mask and most of its citizens wear it regularly. It is known that it is not necessary to show symptoms to transmit the disease, so it is advisable to wear a mask for the duration of the epidemic. [ explanatory video ] [ article ]
When it is particularly useful to wear a mask:
If there is close contact
When close contact with infected people is likely, for example if you're taking care of someone with symptoms of respiratory infection and when we visit clinics or hospitals.
When you have symptoms
When you have symptoms (such as cough or fever), you should always wear a mask to protect those who have contact with you, and you shouldn't leave the house, if possible.
When you're around groups of people
When we are at the peak of the flu epidemic or during the Covid-19 epidemic, it is advisable to wear a mask whenever you are going to have contact with groups of people, such as in the supermarket or at the workplace.
How to use your mask properly
1. Hand hygiene
Watch this video for a thorough explanation and demonstration of proper hand washing.
2. Put on the mask
The mask should fit snugly over the face: most masks adopt a three-layer design which includes an outer fluid-repelling layer, a middle layer serves as a barrier to germs, and an inner moisture-absorbing layer. Wearer should follow the manufacturers' recommendations when using mask, including proper storage and procedures of putting on mask (e.g. determine which side of the mask is facing outwards). In general, the coloured side / the side with folds facing downwards of the mask should face outwards with the metallic strip uppermost.
3. Fit the mask properly
- For tie-on mask, secure upper ties at the crown of head. Then secure lower ties at the nape. For ear-loops type, position the elastic bands around both ears.
- Extend the mask to fully cover mouth, nose and chin.
- Mould the metallic strip over nose bridge and the mask should snugly over the face.
Avoid touching the mask after wearing. Otherwise, you should perform hand hygiene before and after touching the mask.
Don't wear the mask below your nose and don't remove it to speak or because it's uncomfortable. Dispose of the mask after each use if at all possible. Wash your hands after removing the mask.
5. Take off the mask properly
Change masks timely. In general, masks should not be reused. Replace the mask immediately if it is damaged or soiled. Before taking off the mask, perform hand hygiene. When taking off tie-on mask, unfasten the ties at the nape; then unfasten the ties at the crown of head. For ear-loops type, hold both the ear loops and take-off gently from face. Avoid touching the outside of mask as it may be covered with germs. After taking off the mask, discard it into a lidded rubbish bin and perform hand hygiene immediately.
Additional measures against Covid-19
Wash your hands frequently
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol . Cover the entire surface of your hands and rub them together until you feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Keep a distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. These are especially important for people who are at increased risk of getting seriously ill.
Clean and disinfect
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day. This includes tables, door knobs, light switches, railings, desks, telephones, keyboards, toilets, taps, and dishwashers.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them : use soap and water or detergent before disinfecting.
Learn how it spreads
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the COVID19 disease. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid exposure to the virus.
It is believed that the virus is spread mainly from person to person: between people who have close contact with each other (within about 2 meters) and by respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can reach the mouth or nose of people who are nearby or possibly enter the lungs when breathing.
Stay home if you're sick
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze
Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw the disposable tissues you have used in the trash.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol.
Wear a mask
You should wear a mask when you are going to be around other people, especially if you are sick or take care of other people who are.