The face shields available in the market are generally transparent, washable and can be bought keeping the use in mind.
The face shields available in the market are generally transparent, washable and can be bought keeping the use in mind.

Covid-19 protection: Right safety gear to use in the pandemic

With multiple options available, as safety gears in the time of coronavirus, it becomes a challenge to choose the right one. Here’s some sane advice from experts on what to buy.
By Ruchika Garg | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2020 03:03 PM IST

The country is unlocking really fast and with the coming unlock 3.0, more relaxations will be introduced. So Delhiites have resorted to buying essentials to be extra careful. But, with ample options available in terms of safety gear, many are getting confused. Here’s a guide to what you should buy and what should be its features.

Face Masks

“As the new study suggests the virus is airborne, it means people who don’t have Covid-19 patients in their vicinity are also prone to it now.”
– Dr Arunesh Kumar, Sr Consultant and Head of Respiratory Medicine

Right from the cotton masks stitched at home, to the N95 and N99, double-layered, triple-layered and designer ones, the market has a wide range of masks on offer. “Maintaining social distancing norms and wearing a mask when stepping out remain the paramount guideline to avoid contracting the infection. As the new study suggests the virus is airborne, it means people who don’t have Covid-19 patients in their vicinity are also prone to it now,” says Dr Arunesh Kumar, a senior consultant and head of respiratory medicine at a Gurugram hospital.

A new study suggests that the virus is airborne, which means people who don’t have Covid-19 patients in their vicinity are also prone to it now.
A new study suggests that the virus is airborne, which means people who don’t have Covid-19 patients in their vicinity are also prone to it now.

How can one choose a right mask? “One should look at the degree of protection required. We do not need N95 mask for daily use as its breathability is very low. For office and travel, breathability should be good,” says Anuj Prasad, a Delhi-based designer of face armour, desmania aarmr. Masks should be skin-friendly, the outer layer should have a water-resistant fabric. The inner layer should be water-absorbent and the middle layer should act as a filter.

PPE Kits

There are multiple options available in PPE kits. “When it comes to gloves and overall PPE kits, people prefer only surgical products that can be disposed of after a single use,” says Delhi-based Mandeep Arora, MD of Ubon, a manufacturer of PPE kits, masks, gloves, sanitisers and other safety gear.

Rajat Meena, a resident of Dwarka who bought a PPE kit recently, says, “I’m associated with a third-party delivery system, and there are times when we have to travel long distances, so I prefer to wear PPE kits, they are use-and-throw ones. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Face Shields

Is it better to use a face shield than using a mask? “A face shield covers the entire face, including the nose, mouth and eyes. So this has extra protection as chances of touching exposed areas are minimal,” adds Prasad. The shields are generally transparent, washable and can be bought keeping the use in mind. For work, travel or leisure, shields which are compatible for the fight against germs, can be used. Medical professionals require shields with extra protection.

Sanitizers

In sanitisers, right from the alcohol-based variety to the ayurvedic and skin-friendly ones, the variety is endless. But, denizens must remember that cheap sanitisers can burn the skin, or cause allergic reactions. Arora informs, “Sometimes, long exposure to the fragrance of some sanitisers and disinfectants can result in nausea, etc. While buying sanitisers and disinfectants, one should look for the amount of alcohol in them. A safe sanitiser should consist of about 60% to 95% of alcohol in ethanol, propanol or isopropanol form. Also, it should be made according to the formula recommended by the World Health Organisation and certified by government testing labs.”

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271

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