Coronavirus: N95 masks most effective against COVID-19, reveal team of Indian scientists

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New Delhi | Updated: Aug 26, 2020 3:15 PM

Coronavirus latest update: Adequate distancing is something that must not be ignored since masks are not foolproof, researchers said.

n95 mask, n95 mask buy, n95 mask with valve, coronavirus cases, coronavirus news, coronavirus India, coronavirus testing, Coronavirus latest update: Even if a mask does not filter out all the particles, if people can prevent clouds of such particles from traveling very far, it’s better than not doing anything, researchers said. (Reuters image)

Coronavirus latest update: N95 masks are the most effective against Coronavirus, a group of researchers that include a representative from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) revealed. However, the scientists emphasized that the practice of wearing masks and following social distancing norms must continue to check the highly contagious COVID19, as per a PTI report. Earlier in July, the Central government warned against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators.

ISRO’s Padmanabha Prasanna Simha, and Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research in Karnataka’s Prasanna Simha Mohan Rao managed to experimentally visualized the flow fields of coughs under various common mouth covering scenarios. The researchers noted that airborne transmission by respiratory aerosol droplets produced during coughing and sneezing is the dominant mode of spreading the Coronavirus. Researchers found N95 masks to be the most effective at reducing the horizontal spread of a cough. The study was published in the journal Physics of Fluids, the PTI report said.

The N95 masks reduced a cough’s initial velocity by up to a factor of 10, and limit its spread to between 0.1 and 0.25 meters. An uncovered cough, in contrast, can travel up to three metres. A disposable surgical mask greatly reduces this distance to between 0.5 and 1.5 metres, the researchers said.

Even if a mask does not filter out all the particles, if people can prevent clouds of such particles from traveling very far, it’s better than not doing anything. In situations where sophisticated masks are not available, any mask is better than no mask at all for the general public in slowing the spread of infection, researchers said. Adequate distancing is something that must not be ignored since masks are not foolproof, researchers said.

The central government in July said that N-95 masks with valved respirators do not prevent the virus from spreading out and are “detrimental” to the measures adopted for its containment. The Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health had written a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, stating it has been observed that there is “inappropriate use” of N-95 masks, particularly those with valved respirators, by the public other than designated health workers.

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