The demand for face masks has risen rapidly across the world, amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

And in a bid to stay safe from the virus, many people are resorting to the use of N-95 masks because of the popular belief that they are better than the others.

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But experts are suggesting that using these masks could rather be detrimental. Recently, the Centre wrote to all states and union territories warning against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators by people.

A letter by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) read:

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.
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Experts are of the view that the respiratory valves in N-95 masks are one-way. This means that they cannot filter the exhaled air, leading to more chances of the transmission of the virus from an asymptomatic person.

While these masks are a good option to choose when we want to save ourselves from polluted air, they might not prove to be effective during the pandemic.

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The letter also pointed towards the advisory issued by the health ministry earlier, regarding the use of homemade cloth masks and face covers.

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The health ministry had said that people should wash their masks regularly and not reuse the same mask after use without washing. It also stressed on the importance of washing hands before wearing a mask.