COVID-19: Health Ministry Recommends Handmade Reusable Face Masks

The ministry maintained that these homemade masks are not sufficient for healthcare workers. 

2 min read
Representational image.

As the number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 2,902 on Friday, 4 April morning, the Union Health Ministry released an advisory on the use of homemade protective covers for the general public.

In their press release, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suggested that people should use homemade face masks to up their protection levels. Interestingly, this comes days after The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US also urged people to use "cloth face coverings".

The ministry maintained that these handmade masks are not for healthcare workers or those in contact with COVID-19 patients. However, they added that it served as a good face cover and was useful in maintaining personal hygiene for the “community at large.”

They added,

“It is suggested that such people who are not suffering from medical condition or having breathing difficulties may use the handmade reusable face cover, particularly when they step out of their house. This will help in protecting the community at large.”
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

They wrote on how other countries were adopting similar measures and included instructions on making the DIY masks,

“These face covers could be made out of clean cloth available at home, which needs to be thoroughly cleaned and washed before a face cover is stitched/made. The face cover should be prepared in such a manner that it can cover the mouth and nose completely and can be tied over the face easily.”

In a press brief to the media on Tuesday, 31 March, FIT reported that the government and ICMR clarified that mask usage was not necessarily always helpful to the general public.

However, with the rising number of cases, the ministry amended their advisory in a bid to amp up protection levels for everyone.

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