Stopping The Deadly Coronavirus Mutations In Its Track- The
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N-95 masks, ffp2s are terms that we thought were relevant only for medical health workers but now, with the increasing number of mutations and immune escaping variants, and a sudden alarming surge in cases, these masks, may prove to be a game changer in this war against Corona virus, especially since it has now been confirmed by an article in the Lancet that the coronavirus is indeed airborne.

The coronavirus mutates when it multiplies due to copying errors in its RNA during replication. The virus mutates only in a living body and the chances of mutation increase each time it replicates its RNA in each new living host. The more the multiplication through rapid transmission, the more the chances of errors in replication and, consequently, the more the chances of mutation. These mutations can render the virus either weak or strong.

In the current scenario, these mutations have rendered the coronavirus variants stronger, more transmissible. To stop the Corona virus from mutating into a more infectious, immune escaping variant, one needs to prevent it from replicating. Herein lies the role of the grossly under-rated tool – the NIOSH certified N95 masks. This unique melt blown poly propylene layer based mask, lets in O2 molecules easily but does not let the virus enter the wearer’s body by acting like a spider web.

When worn and handled properly – its head loops, nose bridge clip and interwoven polypropylene layered structure, prevent the virus filled air from leaking out from infected individuals. N-95 masks should be worn not only by infected persons but also by non-infected persons, to break the transmission and mutation chain. When worn and handled properly, can halt transmission of the virus by 95% and thus reduce virus replication and mutations.

There will be very little need to constantly tweak the vaccines to tackle different infectious variants. It will give the overburdened medical and R&D community a much-needed breather.Also the N-95 masks would have to be brought within the reach of the masses. The PDS system could be used to supply these masks to the people at a subsidized price.

Needless to say, we would require a constant, uninterrupted supply of these masks to cater to the demands of our massive population. Well, this could be taken care of by ramping up the N-95 mask manufacturing capacity in the country. This would also boost the concept of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Going Vocal for Local. Till then duty-free imports of these masks could be allowed.

Source:
https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/stopping-the-deadly-coronavirus-mutations-in-its-track-the-power-of-n-95-masks/82726299
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