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Indian Scientists Find N95 Masks To Be Most Effective At Stopping COVID-19 Spread

According to researchers, N95 masks have the best effectiveness and completely contain the spread to between 0.1 and 0.25 metres

Indian Scientists Find N95 Masks To Be Most Effective At Stopping COVID-19 Spread

New Delhi: N95 masks may be the most effective at reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a study by researchers, including those from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which suggests that any mask is better than no mask at preventing COVID-19. The researchers noted that airborne transmission by respiratory aerosol droplets produced during coughing and sneezing is the dominant mode of spreading for infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Padmanabha Prasanna Simha, from ISRO, and Prasanna Simha Mohan Rao, from the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research in Karnataka, experimentally visualised the flow fields of coughs under various common mouth covering scenarios.

Also Read: COVID-19: 1.92 Per Cent Patients In ICU While 0.29 Per Cent Patients On Ventilator Battle Against The Virus, Says Union Health Ministry

The, study published in the journal Physics of Fluids, found N95 masks to be the most effective at reducing the horizontal spread of a cough. The N95 masks reduced a cough’s initial velocity by up to a factor of 10, and limit its spread to between 0.1 and 0.25 meters, the researchers said. An uncovered cough, in contrast, can travel up to three metres, but even a simple disposable mask can bring this all the way down to 0.5 metres, they said.

If a person can reduce the extent of how much they contaminate the environment by mitigating the spread, it’s a far better situation for other healthy individuals who may enter places that have such contaminated areas, Mr. Simha said.

Mr. Rao and Mr. Simha noted that density and temperature are intricately related, and coughs tend to be warmer than their surrounding area. They utilised a technique called schlieren imaging, which visualises changes in density, to capture pictures of voluntary coughs from five test subjects. By tracking the motion of a cough over successive images, the team estimated velocity and spread of the expelled droplets.

Also Read: As The World’s First Case Of COVID-19 Reinfection Confirms In Hong Kong, Experts Say Second Time Infections Are Possible But Rare

N95 masks have the best effectiveness and completely contain the horizontal spread to between 0.1 and 0.25 metres, researchers said. A disposable surgical mask greatly reduces this distance to between 0.5 and 1.5 metres, they said.

Even if a mask does not filter out all the particles, if we can prevent clouds of such particles from traveling very far, it’s better than not doing anything. In situations where sophisticated masks are not available, any mask is better than no mask at all for the general public in slowing the spread of infection, said Mr. Simha.

The researchers also contradict the generally accepted notion that using an elbow to cover up a cough is a good alternative. The found that unless covered by a sleeve, a bare arm cannot form the proper seal against the nose necessary to obstruct airflow. The researchers added that a cough is able to leak through any openings and propagate in many directions.

Mr. Simha and Mr. Rao hope their findings will put to rest the argument that regular cloth masks are ineffective, but they emphasise that masks must continue to be used in conjunction with social distancing.

Adequate distancing is something that must not be ignored, since masks are not foolproof, Mr. Simha added.

Also Read: Explainer: Reaching Herd Immunity In A Viral Pandemic

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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