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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 5122-5126

Masks in COVID-19 pandemic: Are we doing it right?

Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. (Dr.) Vikas Bhatia
Executive Director, AIIMS Bibinagar, Hyderabad, Telangana, Former Head, Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_657_20

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the world to undergo an unprecedented change in a short period. Personal protective equipment such as the face mask or face cover has become a daily necessity. Moreover, since some states and countries have made the use of face covers or face masks compulsory, one cannot ignore or afford to have a wrong or incomplete awareness about face masks. Current information suggests that the two main routes of transmission of the COVID-19 virus are respiratory droplets and contact. This article aims to review the existing information and highlight the need for the use of face masks or face covers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and promote and provide necessary recommendations. Many countries have implemented or recommended mask wearing in the community, but recommendation for rational use of masks is being issued, as the crisis and shortage for masks are universally existing. The use of different types of masks has been assigned according to the risk of exposure and should be therefore judiciously used. As this is a novel disease, the guidelines are changing every day and one needs to be updated with correct information so that one can protect themselves and their families from this extreme level of the crisis faced by the world now. The use of face covers or masks should not be discouraged as there has been substantial evidence that its use can help reduce the spread of infection. “Mass masking” along with hand hygiene and social distancing are the only effective recommended measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

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