Health

Learn how to make simple cloth masks from The Bangalore Mask Project

Jana Henning, who’s part of an online expat community, is trying to spread information on making, wearing and cleaning masks

Jana Henning, a German who lives in Bengaluru, has set up The Bangalore Mask Project, which has easy-to-follow instructions in 24 languages, including 11 Indian ones, on making, wearing and cleaning face masks for COVID-19.

Henning, who’s an event manager at The Vine, a community for expats in Bengaluru, called a few doctors back home mid-March to enquire about the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the several things they advised her on was to wear protective face masks in public places.

The Robert Koch Institute, the German public health institute, has said, “Some infected people do not become ill at all (asymptomatic infection), but could still pass it on to others. In these cases, the precautionary wearing of masks could help to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Henning also read reports about the scarcity of masks in India. So, with her friends’ (Lisa Renstroem, Erin Masias, Gurudeep Ramakrishna, Tejaswini Gopalaswamy and Tena Pick) support, she quickly set up the platform to spread the information on the easy-to-make masks. There are instructions to make a reusable three-layered cloth mask, single-use cloth mask and an “anti-virus face shield” (using a two-litre plastic water bottle).

“The instructions and information are similar to the PSA issued by the Indian government and the European governments,” she says.

Henning and her friends are also trying to give away masks to a few areas within Bengaluru. “Every day I get requests for thousands of masks. It’s not possible for us to do that. But I hope neighbourhoods will come together and get it done for themselves. [The triple-layered cloth mask] just requires some sewing. So, even if people can’t do it individually, they can ask their local tailors to make the masks for the entire neighbourhood.”

The Bangalore Mask Project, however, clarifies that the cloth masks are just a means to reduce the risk of infection; they won’t protect one from it. “These masks are not intended to replace N95 or surgical masks. They do not have proper medical respiratory protection nor medical certification. They should not be used by healthcare workers who are in close vicinity of COVID-19 patients but will protect against large droplets and prevent people from touching their faces while outside.”

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:27:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/learn-how-to-make-simple-cloth-masks-from-the-bangalore-mask-project/article31298658.ece

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