Union Health Ministry has put out a detailed advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth. (Photo Credit: Image for representation/Reuters)
The Narendra Modi-government on Saturday issued an advisory asking people to wear "homemade face covers" particularly when they step out of their houses in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. India has reported 2,902 case with 68 deathts due to the novel coronavirus outbreak till Saturday morning. The Centre said that those stepping outside their houses should cover their faces with reusable homemade masks in addition to measures like social distancing and regular hand washing.
The Union Health Ministry also put out a detailed advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth. In the 'Advisory on the use of Homemade Protective Cover for Face and Mouth', the government said the use of such masks will help in protecting the community at large and that certain countries have claimed benefits of homemade face masks for the general public.
However, these handmade masks are not meant for health workers or those working with or in contact with COVID-19 patients or those who are patients themselves as they are required to wear specified protective gear, the Health Ministry said.
The advisory also said that "there must not be a sharing of face covers and a face cover must be used by only one individual". It means that each member of a family should have a separate face cover or mask.
The government has also put out detailed steps for a do-it-yourself face mask that can be made out of a piece of clean cloth available at home.
The advisory comes soon after US President Donald Trump has recommended to all citizens the voluntary use non-medical masks. The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that Americans wear basic cloth or fabric masks that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.
Meanwhile, Modi government has decided to put curbs on the exports of the diagnostic kits from the country. In a circular issued on Saturday afternoon, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said that 'the export of diagnostic kits (diagnostic or laboratory reagents on a backing, preparation diagnostic or laboratory reagents)... is restricted with immediate effect.' The move is aimed at providing much-needed help to health workers across the country.