Hygiene masks are intended for use by health professionals and those who are carriers of the virus but have no symptoms (asymptomatic). There's not much evidence that public use helps prevent the spread of the infection. They may also increase the risk of spreading if they are not used properly.
On 11 April, the Minister of the Interior of Spain, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, announced at a press conference that 10 million masks would be distributed to those who had to return to work. This new protective measure comes after the government of Spain announced the end of the confinement of non-essential service workers. Delivery is being made to public transport stations such as metro and suburban railway stations, in places where it is difficult to maintain a safe distance.
The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, explained that masks would not be necessary in the event that travel to the workplace would be done in private vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles or on foot.
Those citizens who join their workplace and will need to use public transport will be given a "hygiene" or "barrier" mask in the near future. However, for the time being, the new masks will be delivered at "the main interchanges and access points" of public transport.
How to put on and take off the hygiene mask
If you have long hair, pick it up. The dark blue part of the mask goes on the outside, the lighter part on the inside. Before touching the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or hydroalcoholic gel, take the mask by the ends of the rubber bands and place it on your face. Locate the metal strip of the mask and place it over your nose. Make sure you cover your nose, mouth and chin and that there are no gaps between the mask and your face. The rubber bands will go one above the ear and one below. Adjust the metal strip on your nose. Wash your hands again.
While you are wearing the mask, do not pull it down or up, that is, do not pull it down to your neck or up to your forehead to "rest. The mask should not be touched after you put it on. Also, do not scratch the inside of the mask or take it off to talk, cough or sneeze.
To remove the mask, wash your hands first and then take it off using the ends of the elastic bands. It is very important that you do not touch the front or any other part of the mask, throw it immediately into a closed container and wash your hands again.
How long can you use the hygiene mask? It is recommended not to use it for more than four hours. If the mask gets wet or deteriorates, it should be replaced with a new one. It is important to know that all masks are for single use only.
A false sense of security
The use of hygiene masks is intended to ensure that an asymptomatic person does not spread the virus, i.e., does not infect.
It is very important that, even though you wear a mask, you do not neglect the most effective measures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, which are maintaining a safe distance and frequent handwashing with soap and water or hydroalcoholic gel.
Act as if you are the one who can spread it.