Coronavirus news Kolkata: No masks left for doctors as Kolkata goes on a buying spree | Kolkata News

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KOLKATA: The Covid-19 scare has triggered an explosion in the demand for masks leading to a scarcity that has left doctors and healthworkers — who are at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus and need protective gear more than the rest — without a shield.
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While for many, a mask has turned into a fashion accessory, others are using them in fear. Doctors and virologists, however, maintain that healthy individuals don’t need a mask unless they get close to Covid-19 patients or suspects.
Last week, a popular Tiktok user in Kolkata was spotted showing dance moves with his partner, after wearing a mask. They were showing it off as an accessory. Prior to the lockdown, a couple was also spotted shooting a pre-wedding video wearing mask beside the Hooghly.
“When the scare for coronavirus had just set in, I had bought a pack of four cool-looking black masks. I still wear them when I go out. They look good and although I have read that a healthy person doesn’t need to wear a mask, it is better to be safe than sorry,” said Soumya Dasgupta, a resident of Jadavpur.
A mask gives you protection but you can’t go on using it for several days, pointed out pulomonologist Raja Dhar. “It must be sanitized after 5-6 hours of use and discarded at an interval of 4-5 days. More importantly, healthy people don’t need a mask. If they go on a buying spree or start using masks as an accessory, doctors and healthworkers will be deprived of them. This is exactly what’s happening now,” Dhar said.
Masks are giving people a false sense of security, pointed out RN Tagire International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) consultant Arindam Biswas. “First, not all masks can give you fool-proof protection. Only an N95 mask can save you from it. But if you stay at home and stick to social distancing, masks are redundant,” said Biswas.
However, most stores have run out of the masks. Cashing in on the fear economy, several companies that earlier made other products, shifted into the business of manufacturing and selling masks. Gopal Stores, a shop that sells flags, has started manufacturing disposable face masks and were selling them. They have stopped it in the wake of a state-wide police raid. “We had started manufacturing masks as the business seemed good. But we have stopped it now,” said an official of the company.

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