Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged people to use a face mask in public. He appealed people to make cloth coverings/masks at home and encourage everyone to do the same to prevent the spread of coronavirus. PM Modi also made it clear that the fight against COVID-19 would be a long-drawn battle. Several states including Maharashtra has also urged people to use a face mask as new facts have emerged that suggest that even if you don't show coronavirus symptoms initially can end up transmitting the disease. IndiaTvNews.com also advises people to use cloth face mask more often especially when you go out for buying groceries and essentials. Earlier, America's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued some tips to use face mask along with tutorials of how to make cloth face covering. In this article, we bring to you how you can make a face mask from cloth. However, we also urge you to take proper measures to sanitise your mask before you start using them. It is also advised not to use it for children below two years.
Cloth face masks at home - DIY:
1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight. You can use hair ties or elastic headbands too. If you only have a string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.
How to wear a cloth face mask
While wearing a face mask, you should ensure that the cloth face coverings should -
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
How to safely remove a used cloth face mask
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing. According to a study, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can remain infectious on face masks for up to a week. However, the virus can be killed by household disinfectants, bleach or frequent hand washing with soap and water, said the researchers from the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing cloth face masks is recommended in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Also, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (United States) has provided a complete guide on how to make cloth face masks/coverings at home. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make a cloth face mask.