Many double masking for extra safety


Protected and transparent: Khoo, adjusting a visor for her daughter Isabel Lim, six, on top of face masks at New World Park along Burmah Road, George Town. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: It has become a norm for Jacky Lim to wear a fabric mask on top of his surgical mask since last November.

The 30-year-old business executive said it was an extra precaution he needed to take against the deadly Covid-19.

“To me, this is a better way to protect ourselves and others. I started double masking last year when I returned from Singapore.

“I got used to double masking then as it was encouraged over there. As I studied and worked there before returning, I adopted the habit, ” he said at his store here.

In a Bernama report last month, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared a piece of information on his Twitter from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, which concluded that double masking could substantially reduce the wearer’s exposure to Covid-19.

He said while double masking was not mandatory together with the face shield, it would give maximum protection.

According to another infographic he shared, an unknotted surgical mask blocks 56.1% of particles, a cloth mask (51.4%), a knot and tucked surgical mask (77%) and double masking (85.4%).

Kitchen staff Am Khoo, 26, who adopted the habit of double masking, said she heeded the Health director-general’s recommendation to double mask.

“It is not as comfortable as wearing only one mask but for my own safety and for others’, I decided to make it a habit, ” she said.

Project manager Shereen Khoo, 34, who started wearing a face shield on top of her medical-grade masks, said she felt safer wearing two layers.

“Since I stay at home most of the time, I think this should suffice.

“As I only come out to pick up groceries and essentials, I do not mind wearing two layers for a short time, ” she added.

Meanwhile, checks at pharmacies found supplies for medical-grade face masks, fabric masks and N95 masks were plentiful.

A pharmacy assistant who wanted to be known only as Lim said surgical and medical-grade masks were more popular among customers.

“There are no issues with supply as we are stocking up from time to time and suppliers always ensure there is enough to go around, ” she said.

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