The deadly COVID-19 is on surge in India and so is the sale of preventive measures like masks and sanitiser. However, the N-95 masks with valved respirators are not much successful in the prevention of the coronavirus spread, the central government has warned in its letter to all states and union territories.

The Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health wrote a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, claiming that the body has observed an “inappropriate use” of the N-95 masks across the country.

“It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does 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,” DGHS Rajiv Garg said in the letter.

In April, the government had issued an advisory for the people to use a homemade cover to protect the face from the virus while stepping out of their residences. The advisory added that cotton cloth is more appropriate and should be washed each day.