Are you an apprehensive citizen wondering where to get your hand on a face mask? The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has come up with an innovative solution for you: homemade face mask.
“This is primarily meant for the people who want to wear a mask but do not have access to it. They can make these washable and reusable masks home” says Dr Shailja Vaidya Gupta, Senior Advisor, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government.
Shortage of face mask and hand sanitizers is a stark reality. With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as anxious public frantically shopped hygiene products, in particular mask and hand sanitizers, the sudden increased supply could not be met by the burgeoning demand.
The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India issued the manual on homemade masks: ‘Masks for Curbing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus’ for home fabrication.
The key criteria for proposed designs are Ease of Access to Materials, Easy of Making at Home, Ease of Use and Reuse.
Shops and services are demanding that the customers use a facemask. In some shops, the patrons are denied services for not using the face mask.
The homemade mask would help people. Many health experts are also suggesting use of face mask in public spaces could reduce the spread of infection. The proposed guide is meant to provide a simple outline to make, use and reuse masks. This manual could be used by NGOs and individuals to self-create such masks and accelerate widespread adoption of use of masks across India.
Protective masks lower the chances of coronavirus entering our respiratory system through droplets that are present in the air. According to a report published in Pub Med analyses show that if 50 per cent of the population were to wear masks, only 50 per cent of the population would be infected by the virus.
Once 80 per cent of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped substantially. Wearing of masks is especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas.
“India has pockets of a dense population. Masks and washing hands will help and easy to make at home,” said Dr Gupta while speaking with India Science Wire.
According to health experts, a double layer of 100% cotton cloth is the most effective at capturing small particles.
- A double layer of 100% cotton cloth is about 70% as effective as a surgical mask at capturing small particles (up to five times smaller than coronavirus).
- This material is breathable
- It is easy to find around the house
- These masks can be easily reused
Things you will need
- Any used cotton cloth including old cotton vest or t-shirt can be used to make this mask. Remember the colour of the mask does NOT matter. You must ensure that the fabric is washed well in boiling water for 5 minutes and dried well, before you make the mask. Adding salt to this water is recommended.
- Four pieces of cloth strips
- Sewing Machine
How to begin (adult size maks)
- Cutting Fabric – Cut cloth for the mask at the following sizes as required: Adult: 9 inch x 7 inch Child: 7 inch x 5 inch
- Cutting Strips – Cut 4 strips for tying and piping from cloth: Two pieces at 1.5”x 5” and Two pieces at 1.5”x 40”
Remember, you must never reverse the mask for reuse. Always thoroughly wash mask after every use
Photo credit: la