COVID-19 Response, Choosing the Right Mask

The spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) makes people pay extra attention in protecting themselves. After hand sanitizers, masks also become items that are hunted by the public.

Sayangnya, banyak masyarakat yang belum memahami benar fungsi dan kegunaan dari setiap jenis dan lapisan pada masker. Alhasil, penggunaan masker menjadi tidak optimal. Hal ini juga diungkapkan oleh dr. M. Riedha, BMedSc, MSc dari Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT).

“What recently people often mistaken is the use of masks. In surgical masks for example. Many issues circulate for a healthy peoples, the white part is placed on the outside or vice versa. Even though the truth is, whether sick or healthy, which is placed on the outside remains a blue or green layer, “explained dr. Riedha.

This, he continued, is related to the function of each layer. The outermost part is to prevent viruses and bacteria from entering, while the deepest part is to absorb it. Imagine if it was reversed, there would be absorbed viruses and bacteria.

Based on the ingredients, masks sold in the market are divided into three types. First, N95. This type of mask can filter out 95% of 0.3 um particles and hold the virus. N95 effectively used for airborne diseases.

Second, surgical. This type of mask has three layers. The outer layer, usually blue or green, is water repellent to prevent splashes / droplets from entering the mask, middle layer for filtration that can hold 90% of 5 um particles, inner layer to absorb moist or wet parts.

Third, masks made from cotton or cloth. In terms of efficiency, this mask is fairly low to ward off viruses and bacteria. In addition, cotton or fabric that is relatively thick makes it easy for users to feel stuffy.

In addition to the types and ingredients of masks, which also need to be considered is the procedure for using masks. Based on the description of Dr. Riedha, there are five stages in the use of masks, including:

  1. Make sure the mask size fits the face.
  2. Wash your hands before touching the mask.
  3. Determine the top and outside sides of the mask, usually marked with colors and lines.
  4. Use the mask correctly. For a rope mask, position the wire over the nose using a finger. As for the rubber mask, hook the strap behind the ear.
  5. Extend the mask until it covers the part that must be covered.

The use of masks that come in direct contact with consumers makes it necessary to pay attention to the safety and halalness of the mask. Especially now that rogue traders are starting to bloom, who produce masks carelessly, even reselling masks that have been used or thrown away.

LPPOM MUI has so far certified several mask brands, which can be checked at Products with the MUI halal label can be ensured hygiene, safety and halal. (*)

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