- Google Doodle gives a quick recap of COVID-19 preventive measures
- Animated doodle reminds people to wear a mask, practise social distancing
- Face masks should be coupled with physical distancing, hand hygiene: WHO
New Delhi: Today’s (August 5) Google Doodle is dedicated to one of the basic COVID-19 preventive measures – wearing a face mask. The animated doodle features G-O-O-G-L-E that are shown to develop legs, wear masks of different colours and patterns and observe social distancing to keep themselves and everyone else safe. The doodle links out to a public service announcement (PSA) – ‘Wear a mask. Save lives. Wear a face cover. Wash your hands. Keep a safe distance.’
Masks are just one of the ways to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus which is why the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests following other measures including social distancing, hand hygiene.
Reinstating the message, the animated doodle lists out seven crucial ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
1. Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
2. Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
4. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
5. Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
6. Stay home if you feel unwell.
7. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
Calling in advance allows your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This protects you, and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections, reads the advice.
World Health Organisation’s Guide On The Use Of Different Types Of Face Masks
At present, there is not much scientific evidence on the widespread use of masks but according to the WHO, there are some settings in which it may not be possible to keep physical distancing and the use of a mask could be helpful in providing a barrier to limit the spread of potentially infectious droplets from someone who is infected.
In addition, there is some evidence which suggests that some infected people without showing symptoms may be able to transmit the virus to others. For this reason, WHO advises that governments should encourage the use of non-medical fabric masks, reads the guideline by WHO.
According to a short video guide released by the WHO, there are two kinds of masks – medical masks also known as surgical masks and fabric masks also known as non-medical masks.
Medical masks or surgical masks should be worn by health workers; people who have COVID-19 symptoms; individuals taking care of someone suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, says WHO.
Along with this, in areas where COVID-19 is widespread and physical distancing of at least one meter cannot be achieved, medical masks should be worn by people who are aged 60 years old or above and those who have underlying health conditions. Reason being, they belong to the vulnerable group and have a greater risk of developing a serious illness.
Once the medical mask is soiled or damp, it should be discarded immediately, preferably in a closed bin.
The WHO suggests the use of fabric masks only for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. These masks are to be used where COVID-19 is widespread that is a lot of people in the community are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 and physical distancing of at least one meter cannot be achieved.
Fabric masks can be worn by anyone who is in close contact with others such as social workers, cashiers, and service providers at hotels, grocery stores and others.
Fabric masks should also be considered in busy public settings such as public transport like buses, share taxis and trains, workplaces, grocery stores, and other crowded environments, says the WHO.
According to WHO, ideally, fabric masks should have three layers of fabric. The outer layer should be a water-resistant fabric. The inner layer should be water absorbent and the middle layer acts as a filter, said WHO in a guide on how to wear a fabric mask.
Unlike medical masks, fabric masks can be reused. If it’s not soiled, it can be stored in a clean resealable bag whereas if it’s dirty, it can be washed with soap and water and used again.
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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.