This measure is still the best tool to prevent Covid-19, but much has been said about the different types of masks on the market and whether they are really effective.
Fernando Ruiz Gómez, Minister of Health and Social Protection, emphasizes that preventative measures, and especially the use of face masks, have become part of the Colombian people’s conscience. “We went from being very lax with the mask to having a much better use of it today, and it has become evident.”
Nevertheless, in addition to knowing how to put it on (covering the nose and mouth, leaving no space on the sides and fitting it snuggly over the nose), epidemiologist Sandra Vivia Muñoz practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare reminds us of the following specifications and considerations to take into account:
- Fabric masks are effective only if they are high quality, have three layers, one of them being anti-fluid. Its effectiveness can reach 40%. The most recommended are the surgical masks with an effectiveness of 60%, and the N95 with 95%, although N95 masks are recommended for use exclusively by health personnel in hospitals.
- The useful life of cloth masks is longer because they are reusable, but they must be washed constantly. While the useful life of surgical or disposable masks is eight hours.
- Masks with exhalation valves, known as “selfish masks,” are not recommended. They only protect the wearer, but put others at risk due to the free exhalation of particles.
- You can wear a cloth mask and a surgical mask at the same time to increase effectiveness. The surgical mask should be discarded after use.
Remember: Masks are important if used correctly, that is: completely covering the nose and mouth, not touching it from the inside or outside, only the elastic bands, which is effective in addition to general measures such as frequent hand washing and social distancing.