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May 16, 2021

Do these really keep people safe?

Medical experts give good advice about how to avoid getting infected with the Covid virus and there are many different ways to do so, but the one all stress on is the wearing of a mask, which many people are reluctant to do but is the best choice.

Anyway, speaking of masks the question arises about how hygienically they are manufactured. Are they really as safe as they should be? There are a couple of videos floating around social media showing masks being sown in a factory by men in dirty clothes wearing no masks or gloves; sewn masks lying on the ground where they are stitching, some on their dirty bare feet, while other men in similar apparel are stacking them for packing! The material used is blue and green - whatever it is - and one that is most common used in their manufacture. It certainly puts off anyone wanting to buy a box of these!

On top of that there are hundreds of men, women and children selling masks in markets. These are either in dirty plastic bags or hanging open on a pole. They do not look new - rather as if they have been picked up from garbage heaps; washed carelessly and then put up for sale, where they collect dust and germs and are definitely not safe to wear. Many people, especially the less privileged who do not want to be penalized, stop and buy masks from these sellers because they are cheaper and it’s easier to stop by the roadside than go into a store. They also wear the same mask for days on end or have it hanging around their neck, just in case!

Shouldn’t there be some kind of monitoring as far as manufacturing masks is concerned? And what about public service messages by TV channels? What is the use of wearing a mask if it’s full of germs? Masks made of material by various organizations and properly encased in polythene bags appear to be a better choice but not everyone can afford them. Then of course there are designer masks that match your clothes but they are for the wealthy or those who want to splurge. So the authorities need to make masks safe to keep people safe.