COVID-19: DGHS cautions against use of N-95 valved respirator masks

Official says they do not offer the desired protection against virus spread

July 21, 2020 11:24 am | Updated 10:52 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The staff in Government Medical College and Hospital wear N95 mask in Nagpur | File

The staff in Government Medical College and Hospital wear N95 mask in Nagpur | File

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday cautioned against the use of N-95 valved respirator/ masks, stating that it doesn’t offer the desired protection against the spread of COVID-19 .

Watch | Coronavirus: Can masks protect you?

“This is an evolving virus and we now have evidence which suggests that with a valved mask the person wearing it is safe but if they are COVID-19 positive or asymptomatic, then propensity of that person infecting others is there,” said Ministry’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference.


The warning comes after the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) sounded an alarm against the use of these masks. 

It noted that these don’t prevent the virus from escaping out and thus may not aid in containment of the Coronavirus.

‘Prevent use’

In a communication to the States, the DGHS said, “It has come to our knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as they do not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks.”

Home-made cover

The Central government has stressed the need for people to wear at least home-made protective cover for the face and mouth whenever they step out of their residences.

Watch | COVID-19: Dos and don'ts from the Health Ministry

Its advisory sayid that the covers must be washed and cleaned each day and that only cotton cloth must be used.

“Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have a separate one,” the advisory noted.

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