No downside to wearing a mask, say experts

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Though wearing protective face masks is essential in public places amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a growing public apathy towards using this safety gear, reports UNB.
But experts say there is no downside to wearing a mask and they fear this apathy may weaken the government's efforts to contain the possible second wave of the deadly virus during winter.
Even, many people argue that wearing masks for a long time is uncomfortable as they say it irritates the skin and makes breathing difficult, causes oxygen deficiency or Carbon dioxide intoxication and some other problems.
Health experts think there are very little disadvantages of wearing a mask, but it is an important and effective way to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus when many asymptomatic patients are unconsciously roaming everywhere.
In a Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also on Monday urged people to follow health guidelines and use face-masks in public places and gatherings, aiming to prevent the fresh surge in cases of the virus in Bangladesh during the coming winter.
Former World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional AdvisorMuzaherulHuq said the mask is necessary to prevent coronavirus infection, but no one needs to wear it all time.
"We should know when and how the mask should be used. Masks have very little disadvantages, but we can minimise those if we know how to use those effectively," MuzaherulHuq said.
He said a corona-infected patient should wear a mask only when he/she is supposed to come in contact with others. "When the patient is in isolation and no one is supposed to come to close proximity, he or she does not need to wear a mask."
At the same time, the health expert said, when health workers or family members visit a corona patient must wear masks.
"No one needs to use masks in their houses if there is no corona patient there. When people are going outside and there's a possibility of meeting other people, they should wear masks. But they should put it off intermittently when they are not in contact with any people. When you're alone outside home or office, you can put off the mask. Even when you're at the office and no one is beside you then you can carry out work without a mask," he suggested.
DrMuzaher, however, said when people are in buses, trains or other vehicles they need to wear masks.
He said many people have a tendency to use masks for a long time as they don't know the proper ways of using the safety gear. "They should change this habit. Especially people having respiratory and lung problems should put off masks after a regular interval going in a safer and isolated place."
Muzaher mentioned that some people say masks cause a headache, irritates the skin, creates oxygen deficiency and some other problems, but there is no enough evidence in support of those.