N95 masks with valved respirators have found an enemy in the government. The Union Health Ministry has warned all states against the use of these masks stating that the valves don’t prevent the virus from escaping the mask.

“It has been observed that there is an inappropriate use of the N95 mask (particularly with valved respirator) by the public other than designated health workers. In this regard, I would like to draw your attention to the advisory on the use of home-made protective cover for face and mouth available on the website of the MoHFW,” Prof (Dr) Rajiv Garg, director-general of health services stated in a letter to all the health secretaries of the states.

“It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of the coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask,” the letter adds.