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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 149-152

Who should use a face mask during COVID-19 pandemic? An evidence-based review


1 Dean (Nursing), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Suresh K Sharma
College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijrc.ijrc_27_20

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There is a lot of confusion about who should use face mask during this serious COVID-19 pandemic. Irrational use of masks has caused serious shortage of mask availability for frontline health-care workers, who really require it. Therefore, the authors have carried out this comprehensive evidence-based review to guide policy-makers for the rational use of the face mask in this crisis. Social distancing, meticulous hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes are more important in curbing the COVID-19 infection transmission rather than use of face mask alone but people may use multilayer cloth face covering especially in the areas of significant community-based transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Frontline health-care workers essentially require the full set of personal protective equipment, including gown, gloves, goggles or face shields, shoe covers, and mask, preferably N95 or equivalent respirator when exposed to aerosols. In case, N95 or equivalent equipment is not available, and then, surgical mask can also protect them adequately during non-aerosol generating procedures, provided meticulous hand hygiene is practiced.


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