New Delhi: Wearing masks is considered the best way to protect self and others from the coronavirus. However, there are different kinds of masks available in the market and there is always a doubt on the best choice.
Medical masks are a good bet as they have been medically tested to block the particles. There are three types of medical masks available in the market – N95 respirators, KN95 respirators and surgical masks. They are a good bet for protection.
N95 respirators: It is designed in a manner to create tight seal around the nose and mouth. If it is worn in the correct way, it can resist at least 95 per cent of the small airborne particles. These masks are very good in protecting the person who is wearing them and also the people around them.
These masks are made of fine polypropylene fibres which are very effective in trapping incoming and outgoing particles. However, as per the experts, there is a shortage of N95 masks and hence it should be reserved for health care workers.
While choosing the N95 respirators, one should pay extra attention as there are many fake masks available in the market.
K95 respirators: It is regulated by the Chinese government. It can also block at least 95 per cent of the small airborne particles. There are also some doubts over counterfeit being available in the market. One should be careful while choosing this mask.
Surgical masks: It is loosely worn around the face to protest against the coronavirus. Because of the short supply of masks at the beginning of the pandemic, these masks became popular among people.
It can block large particle droplets or splashes in the air. However, they are not so effective against very small particles. Many of the surgical masks are made from paper, though some are made from polypropylene.