In light of the aggravated air condition in north India, coupled with a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, health experts have suggested people to wear N95 masks without valves this winter, to be in the safe zone. The national capital, where AQI (Air Quality Index) level mostly vary between very poor and severe category during past winters has already witnessed a rise in positive cases once again.
A total of 3,259 fresh COVID-19 cases and 35 fatalities in the last 24 hours have mounted Delhi's overall infection tally close to 3.27 lakh. The total number of reported deaths is 5,981.
Dr Deshdeepak, Senior Chest Physician, Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya hospital informed, "Till last year, we were saying that those who have a problem in breathing can use N95 mask with valve as it makes breathing easier. However, this year situation is very much different where we have both pollution and COVD- 19 we cannot recommend using N95 with valve."
While analysing on which mask should be used for better protection from both particulate air pollution and Coronavirus, the expert pinpointed on N95 without a valve.
Dr Deshdeepak, however, stated that the N95 mask, which is widely used to prevent inhaling polluted air, protects them only from particulate matter and not against gaseous pollution. Besides this, masks that provide protection from the gaseous pollution are expensive, making its purchase difficult for commoners. Among other factors that are not even considered while using these masks is its reusability, he said.
"This is a very tricky situation. During pollution we often tend to reuse the same mask to protect ourselves from pollution but important in COVID condition we may not be able to reuse the same mask and that includes the expensive one too," the doctor added.
As winter is about to commence soon and many estimate that it may intensify the transmitting capacity of Coronavirus, health experts have stressed the need to urgently curb air pollution.
India reported a spike of 62,212 new covid19 cases and 837 deaths on Saturday. The tally of positive cases stands at 74,32,681 including 7,95,087 active cases, 65,24,596 cured/discharged/migrated cases & 1,12,998 deaths, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. With the onset of winter, the pollution level in the air fluctuates between the poor to the severe category in Delhi.
(With inputs from agency)
(Image credits: PTI)