WATCH: Guide on how to use and maintain your fabric mask

Cloth mask  (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Cloth mask (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been advised across the world to wear masks as a measure to reduce respiratory droplet transmission from coughing and sneezing to others, and minimize your own exposure to others’ respiratory droplets. And this has led to an increase in DIY masks, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reports.

According to Discovery, it’s vital to first understand that a fabric or nonmedical mask is different from a medical mask.

“It’s important to note that medical masks are intended for healthcare workers and are therefore different from cloth masks recommended for use by the general public,” says Dr Noluthando Nematswerani, head of the Centre for Clinical Excellence at Discovery Health.

Here’s a guide on how to use and maintain your mask:

Wash your hands and keep the mask clean 

  • The WHO suggests that people need to always remember to wash their hands using soap and water or sanitise them using an alcohol-based sanitiser before putting on a mask.
  • It’s also important to ensure that the mask is washed and ironed before use.

Make sure the mask fits properly

  • Place the mask over your face and ensure that it covers your nose and mouth.
  • Fasten it by tying the strings securely behind your head or if it has elastic bands, ensure these fit snugly around your ears.

Don’t touch your face while wearing the mask

  • Ensure that the mask you’re wearing fits you well and try not to fiddle with or touch it. A recent study shows that the coronavirus can survive on masks for seven days, Business Insider reported.

Remove the mask with caution

  • Remove the mask inside out and place it in a container reserved only to wash it. Remember to once again wash your hands.

Wash your mask and iron when dry

  • USA Today, it’s important to wash your mask often using lukewarm water and soap.
  • When the mask is dry store it in an airtight container in preparation for its next use.

Taking to his Twitter page, minister of health Zweli Mkhize shared a video of guidelines informing citizens of how to maintain their fabric masks.

Check out the full video below

Sources: Twitter, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Discovery, WHO, Business Insider, USA Today

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