Adhering to health protocols, one of which is wearing masks when doing activities outside the home and interacting with other people, is currently the primary way to protect yourself from Covid-19 transmission before the vaccine is released. Even so, there is still a significant risk of transmission if people do not understand how to use and remove masks correctly.
Therefore, how are the correct ways to use and take them off? A specialist in internal medicine at the UGM Academic Hospital (RSA), dr. RM. Agit Sena Adisetiadi, Sp.PD., explained tips on the correct usage of masks by ensuring that the mask covers the mouth, nose, and chin thoroughly. Beforehand, make sure to wash your hands first with soap or use a hand sanitizer.
Meanwhile, when removing, please avoid touching the front/outside of the mask because this part can contain several virus particles attached to the outside. If people take off the mask incorrectly, such as touching the mask's front, it allows the virus to enter the body through the media of the hands.
"Viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours. Indirect transmission can occur, one of which is through hands touching the surface of objects exposed to the virus, including masks and then hands touching our face areas," Agit explained on Thursday (13/8).
Therefore, he re-emphasized not to touch the outside part when taking off the mask. Try only to touch the strap or mask hook rubber. Then immediately throw it to the trash.
"After taking off the mask, please immediately wash your hands with running water using soap," he added.
Take Off While Eating
Agit said that when eating or drinking, you should take off the mask. Please avoid just dropping the mask from the chin to the neck because this can increase the risk of transferring Covid-19.
When the mask is put down on the chin or up to the neck, it might cause another transmission. It is because the mask that beforehand protects the mouth and nose will touch the chin to the neck area. Meanwhile, the jaw to neck area is not protected, so there may be bacteria or viruses sticking to it. As a result, when the mask is reused, there is a chance for bacterial or viral contamination, which makes the mask function not optimal.
"So, you take your mask off when you are going to eat. However, please remain alert when you are eating, do not eat together or in a crowd, it also applies in the office or work environment," Agit said.
Translator: Natasa A