BHOPAL: Health department banned use of N-95 masks with respiratory valves in hospitals in state on Wednesday. In a circular issued to all deans of medical colleges of state and CMHOs, the department while citing guidelines of union health ministry banned the use of N-95 masks with respiratory valves. Though the respiratory valves protect users, those around them could be at high risk of contracting infection. Health directorate has recommended use of face covers without valves.
Using N-95 masks with valves is recommended when pollution levels are high because they do not allow carbon dioxide to accumulate inside the face cover, experts said. But the same valve, used for exhalation, can act as an easy passage for germs and endanger those in close proximity if the user has an infection.
While all masks filter the air users are inhaling, the ones without valves also trap most germs coming out with exhalation, protecting people around those wearing them. The union health ministry has been issuing regular advisories, asking people to avoid wearing N-95 masks, which are used as part of personal protection equipment kit for health care and other frontline workers dealing with Covid-19 cases.