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COVID-19: Here’s why you shouldn’t carelessly discard your face masks

COVID-19: Here’s why you shouldn’t carelessly discard your face masks

People everywhere are advised to wear protective face masks due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). With masks haphazardly strewn on pavements of the streets, many start to question the average Filipino’s discipline on properly disposing such a hazardous item. These discarded masks continue to pose health risk despite unworn.


COVID-19: Here’s why you shouldn’t carelessly discard your face masks

The used mask becomes a new source of infection.

Improperly discarded masks, especially those that may already be soiled, have a large amount of respiratory secretions on them. Since the virus can survive for a couple of days in humid conditions, the used masks can become a new source of infection. For example, the wearer tossed the used mask in a confined space like an elevator. It may have already contaminated the environment and endangered the people within.

Two women walk through London’s Trafalgar Square wearing protective facemasks as the coronavirus outbreak spreads (Photo from inews.co.uk)

The used mask carries a risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Of course, contaminating the environment already meant posing a potential health hazard to the people who comes in contact with it. Although small, the mask carries a risk of passing any kind of germs, bacteria, virus, especially COVID-19 through the air. Used masks consist of its wearer’s spit or mucus and when transmitted through the air, it will definitely harm someone’s health.

Passengers wear protective face masks at the departure hall of the high-speed train station in Hong Kong, Thursday, January 23, 2020 (Photo from Business Insider)

The used mask becomes a public health hazard.

Basically, COVID-19 cases are transmitted through contact. Wearers should properly dispose and treat their used masks as medical waste. One way to protect others from your used mask may be to fold it up and wrap it in paper before throwing it away. If a person inadvertently touches the used mask, and then their own face, they could already become a carrier or infected.

Workers make protective masks at a factory in Handan, China’s Hebei province. (Photo from China Daily via Reuters)

Either way, the improper and careless way of discarding face masks remain disgusting. So, please throw it away properly for the sake of others around you. 

Stay safe, Villagers!

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