In Turkey, it has increased the interest in the health of citizens mask Upon detection of the first cases of the virus choir on March 11. With the spread of the epidemic, many issues such as which masks are more protective, in which cases masks should be worn, the reliability of different types of masks newly released, and the increase in mask prices have raised questions for citizens. As part of the latest measures taken against the corona virus, the obligation to wear masks in public areas since April 3 has further increased the questions on this issue.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE OF SURGICAL MASK AND N95?
Best selling masks, multi-layer surgical masks and N95 masks in pharmacies and health centers. Multi-layer surgical masks that cover the mouth and nose are available in almost every pharmacy with wires and wireless. Wired masks cover that area better, while there is 1 finger space between the cheek and nose in those with wires. These masks, which do not have any filters, cannot prevent small viruses such as corona, but they can prevent droplets from spreading outside and direct exposure to outside droplets. These masks are sold for 4-5 lira in pharmacies after the epidemic started.
N95 masks, on the other hand, are masks that provide 95 percent protection against particles larger than 0.3 micron. N95 masks, which are among the protective equipment of healthcare professionals, are also used by workers working in dusty environments. N95 masks started to be sold in pharmacies for prices ranging from 35 lira to 65 lira after the epidemic started. Another issue to consider when buying a mask is that the masks are ventilated or not. Valve masks have plastic parts on them to make breathing easier. These masks protect the person against viruses outside, but if the user is a carrier, they cannot prevent the virus from spreading outside.
Neither surgical masks nor N95 masks can provide 100 percent protection against the Covid-19 virus, which is about 0.1 micron in size. It is also stated by experts that the use of masks alone will not be sufficient to protect against the epidemic. However, experts say that using masks in closed and collective areas will contribute to less spread of the disease.
IDEAL USAGE TIME 4-5 HOURS
With the necessity of wearing a mask in public areas, it has begun to be discussed how long a mask can be used. Healthcare professionals state that the ideal usage time of both surgical masks and N95 masks is 4-5 hours. Masks need to be changed after moistening. It is also stated that washing and reusing masks is a wrong practice.
“FABRIC MASKS ARE NOT PROTECTIVE”
seen in Turkey after the outbreak of the masks, a kind of started to be used as accessories by some citizens. Although it is prohibited to sell in pharmacies and health institutions, fabric masks in different colors and patterns are purchased online. A pharmacist who asked how fabric masks differ from surgical masks said, “The sewing technique and gap gap are more important than the material they are made of. These are taken into consideration in surgical masks. The color of the masks does not matter, but the masks made of cloth are not protective. “Do not buy fabric masks.”
(The protection ratio of masks made of cloth for bacteria with a size of 1 micron compared to a surgical mask. Corona virus is 0.1 micron in size. Source: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/)
‘THE LARGEST PROFIT PRODUCERS GET’
A neighborhood pharmacy in Istanbul, where we talked about the increase in mask prices, said, “The cost of a surgical mask is not more than 50 cents. We buy masks from pharmaceutical wholesalers, and wholesalers buy them from manufacturers. Before the epidemic, the surgical mask cost 50 kurus each, and we were selling it for 1 lira. The mask wasn’t a bestseller anyway. For example, when you buy a certain number of products from the warehouse, they send a mask as a gift. Masks come to us for 3 liras from the warehouse now. N95s also come for 25 liras. Producers make the biggest profit. We buy 200 surgical masks a day, it ends before the evening ”.
Pharmacies, the first address that comes to mind for those who want to buy masks, have also taken their own precautions against the epidemic. Pharmacies have surrounded the doorways 1 meter after the entrances in order to prevent the crowd inside. While customers cannot enter more than 1 meter inside, more than one customer is not allowed to enter at the same time. Despite this, crowded queues continue to form in front of pharmacies’ doors. The pharmacist we talked to explained the intensity as follows:
“People have been afraid of going to hospitals since the epidemic started. That’s why the density of pharmacies in front of the hospital has decreased. And because people are drawn to their homes, they go to the closest pharmacy to buy things such as masks, gloves, disinfectants and vitamins. That’s why neighborhood pharmacies are busier. ”