The concept of double-masking is now backed by a few health studies and with the second Covid-19 surge gripping India, health experts are advising people to wear two masks instead of one in order to increase protection levels to as much as 95%. As we know, the pace of the current virus spread is rapid and to obviate it, maximum protection is needed. So, experts suggest that one needs to wear two masks — one disposable and above it, a cloth mask.
The University of North Carolina Health Care studies suggest that wearing two marks will double the effectiveness of filtering out SARS-CoV-2-sized particles. “The medical procedure masks are designed to have very good filtration potential based on their material, but the way they fit our faces isn’t perfect,” said Emily Sickbert-Bennett, PhD, associate professor of infectious diseases at the UNC School of Medicine.
In the first wave, a single mask, when worn properly, was perfectly enough to contain the risk of infection. But, the situation has drastically changed. For the CDC study, researchers placed two models six feet apart to check how many particles were released from one and inhaled by the other. When the models wore one mask, it blocked 40 per cent of those particles, in comparison to over 80 per cent in those who wore two masks.
But, if you are wearing a genuine N95 mask, you must avoid double masking, experts have advised on the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The experts suggest that double-masking is needed in places like shopping malls, hospitals, indoor spaces with poor ventilation and public transport like bus, metro. In a society where we have some people who are apathetic towards wearing one mask are now recommended to wear two. And there are high chances people might refuse the idea of double-masking.