People urged to reserve masks for healthcare workers

People urged to reserve masks for healthcare workers

People urged to reserve masks for healthcare workers

Written by Hassan Shazuli

23 May, 2020 | 9:37 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lankan health officials have urged people to reserve masks for healthcare workers amidst growing demand for the product due to the coronavirus.

“…the community should understand that they do not come in contact with patients like the medical staff,” health services chief Dr Anil Jasinghe said in a state document seen by News 1st.

Disposable masks, and closer fitting ones, known as N95 masks, are widely used as a precaution from the coronavirus which is mainly spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

“There is no need for the public to wear N95 masks or similar respirators,” the director-general of health services said.

However, he noted that people with respiratory symptoms and those who take care of such patients at home should wear a normal surgical mask.

Dr Jasinghe added that those with breathing difficulties and children below the age of two have also been advised against wearing face masks.

He said that the public can wear “commercially available masks or homemade cloth masks” when social distancing measures cannot be practised.

“The cloth mask should be removed when it is soaked or damp,” the health chief noted. “Homemade cloth masks can be reused after washing and ironing”.

These masks should be snugly fit and be secured by tying or with ear loops and should allow breathing without restriction, the state document showed.

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