Protocol for wearing of mask to prevent the spread of the covid-19 pandemic

Shillong, April 29: Amidst the rapid surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the State owing to the highly infectious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, masks have been classified as an important strategy to suppress transmission and save lives.

The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks is essential to make them as effective as possible, along with adherence to other  COVID  appropriate  behaviour  such  as  physical  distancing,  keeping  rooms  well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue.

In view of this, all persons in the State are requested to follow the mask wearing protocols as listed, Any person age 2 years or older should wear a three ply surgical mask/N-95 mask when stepping out in public spaces or even when sharing personal space with people not belonging to their household.

It is not recommended to wear masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as plastic or leather) OR Masks made from fabric that is loosely woven or knitted, such as fabrics that let light pass through or Masks made with only one layer of fabric. Masks made with breathable fabric may be layered with a three ply surgical mask underneath it to ensure maximum protection.

It is important to clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time. It should be ensured the mask covers your nose, mouth and chin properly. Wrapping a scarf or muffler over the face as a Mask must be avoided.

When you take off a mask, store it in a clean place, if it is to be reused. It is recommended to wash fabric masks every day before use. In accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, it is recommended to keep used disposable masks in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours prior to their disposal as general waste. It is also advised to cut the masks prior to disposal to prevent their reuse.

A person who is tested positive for COVID-19 or having symptoms should necessarily wear masks around other people. Wear ask  inside your home if someone you  live with is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19. All Healthcare workers are to necessarily wear N-95 masks in healthcare settings.

All caregivers taking care of COVID-19 affected persons under home isolation must necessarily wear N-95 mask or a three ply surgical mask layered with a fabric mask above it. The patient isolating must also wear a mask during this period of attendance.

People aged 60 or above and persons with co morbidities are to necessarily wear masks in public spaces or in personal settings around other people. Anyone awaiting COVID-19 test results should take precautions by wearing a mask at the home setting until the test results are declared.

Take off your mask by pulling on the strings attached; discard single use masks and wash washable masks once they become humid and wet. Do not use masks with valves.

A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially when indoors around people who don’t live in your household.

Masks should be worn all the time when you are travelling on a plane, bus, train, or other forms of public transportation. Clear face shields are not to be used as a substitute for Masks.One must not share used masks with others.







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