COVID-19 mask debate: When and how to use masks properly

As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, it is essential to follow protective measures

COVID-19 mask debate: When and how to use masks properly
Workers produce masks at the Thai Hospital Product Company Ltd. factory in Bangkok – Photo: Jonathan Klein/AFP
English 04/04/2020 14:36 Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English Mexico City Actualizada 13:42
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As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, it is essential to apply the preventative measures recommended by health authorities and international institutions, such as the World Health Organization, to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus.

Basic hygiene measures are perhaps the most common recommendations, including constantly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, avoiding greeting others with handshakes, kisses, or hugs, and turning to physical distancing, among many others.

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One recommendation that has been a matter of debate is the use of masks and due to the shortage panic shopping has caused, it is fundamental to know when to wear them and how to wear them properly so as not to worsen the problem and allow those who really need them to be protected.

Remember that medical masks can only protect you from COVID-19 when used properly and in combination with other measures.

When to use a mask
According to the WHO, there is no scientific evidence that proves masks can protect healthy people. You only need to wear a mask in case you are taking care of a person with a suspected COVID-19 infection.

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Make sure to wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. However, remember that masks are only effective when people also wash their hands frequently, whether it is by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

How to wear and remove a mask properly
Before you put on a mask, make sure to wash your hands properly.

Adjust the mask so that it covers your mouth and nose making sure that there are no gaps between the mask and your face or else it will not protect you.

While you are wearing it, avoid touching the mask unless your hands are completely clean.

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Be sure to replace your mask as soon as it is damp.

Remove the mask from behind; discard it immediately in a closed bin and wash your hands.

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