The Government of India has released an advisory on use of homemade protective cover for face & mouth. However, the government has also clarified that this advisory is not recommended for either health workers or those working with or in contact with COVID 19 patients or are patients themselves as these categories of people are required to wear specified protective gear.
Social distancing and personal hygiene are keys to prevent COVID 19 infections. Certain countries have claimed benefits of homemade face cover for the general public. Such homemade face cover is a good method for maintaining personal hygiene. Such usage certainly will help in maintaining overall hygienic health conditions.
Therefore, it is suggested that such people who are not suffering from medical conditions or having breathing difficulties may use the handmade reusable face cover, particularly when they step out of their house. This will help in protecting the community at large.
This face cover is not recommended for either health workers or those working with or in contact with COVID 19 patients or are patients themselves as these categories of people are required to wear specified protective gear.
It is advised that two sets of such face covers be made so that one can be washed while the other is used. Hand washing would still remain essential criteria and hand should be washed before wearing the face cover. Such face covers should also not be thrown anywhere but kept safely, washed properly with soap and hot water and dried properly before they are used.
These face covers could be made out of clean cloth available at home, which needs to be thoroughly cleaned and washed before a face cover is stitched/made. The face cover should be prepared in such a manner that it can cover the mouth and nose completely and can be tied over the face easily.
There must not be a sharing of face covers and a face cover must be used by only one individual. So, in a family of several members, each member should have a separate face cover.
Before using the handmade face cover remember:
- Thoroughly wash and clean the face cover before wearing it.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before wearing the face cover.
- As soon as the face cover becomes damp or humid, switch to another face cover and clean the used face cover.
- Never reuse a face cover after single use without cleaning it.
- Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have separate face cover.
When removing the face cover:
- Do not touch the front or any other surface of the face cover, remove it only with strings behind
- For string face cover, always untie the string below and then the string above
- After removal, immediately clean your hands with 65% alcohol-based hand sanitizer or with soap and water for 40 second
- Drop it directly into a soap solution or boiling water to which salt has been added