Does Double Masking Mean Double Protection Against Covid-19?

Infectious disease specialist Dr Kirti Sabnis reveals if wearing an extra mask can actually help you keep safe from Covid-19.

As the second wave of Coronavirus rages across the country, the virus is all the more dangerous, more transmissible and infectious.

Letting your guard down at a time like this can seriously affect you and your loved ones. Not only should follow Corona Appropriate Behavior such as masking, social distancing, washing of hands and sanitization, but it is time to ramp up your defence.  

Infectious disease specialist Dr Kirti Sabnis, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan agrees. 

She says, "In fact, in these tough times, double masking enhances protection from the virus, and cuts down the prospects of transmitting and catching the virus. According to a recent study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is stated that if everyone double-masked, the COVID exposure can be reduced by 96.4 per cent." 

But, what is double masking?

Well, wearing two masks one on top of another is termed as ‘double masking’. Dr Sabnis adds, "The outer mask can apply gentle pressure to the edges of the inner mask and create a better seal. As the virus is spread through respiratory droplets, layers of a mask can help increase its filtration, and also provide protection if someone around you sneezes or coughs."

How and when to double mask

Consider wearing a double mask when venturing out in crowded places such as airports, bus stands, while using public/ local transportation and visiting markets. 

    One cloth mask on top of a surgical mask or two cloth masks, or one cloth mask on a 3ply mask is an ideal combination

    A face shield, along with a mask can be used at extremely crowded places

    If one is using an n95 mask, avoid double masking

    Double masks especially for children are avoidable

Dos of double masking:

    Wash the cloth mask daily in hot water

    Wear the mask properly - covering the nose, mouth and the chin

    Avoid sharing masks between family members

    After removing any mask, sanitize your hands thoroughly

    Throw disposable mask in a covered bin

    Change your mask and wear a new one at frequent intervals

    Follow social distancing while wearing a mask

Dont’s of Masking

    Don’t put your mask around the neck or chin

    Don’t wear wet masks

    Don’t touch the mask often

    Do not remove mask while speaking

    Do not remove the mask if you have to sneeze

    Don’t put a mask on a child younger than 2 years of age