Surgical Masks Are More Practical For The General Public As Compared To N95 Masks

Last September, Singaporeans stocked up on N95 masks to protect themselves from the transboundary haze.

While N95 masks may be effective for filtering out harmful air particles, it may not be the best option when it comes to guarding against the Wuhan virus.

On Wednesday (22 Jan), the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued an advisory, urging  Singaporeans to purchase surgical masks which are reportedly more suited for disease prevention.

Surgical masks more practical compared to the N95 masks

According to The Straits Times, surgical masks are designed to block large particles and splatter from reaching the wearer’s respiratory tracks. It also reduces the chance of the wearer’s “saliva and respiratory secretions” from being exposed to others.

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They can help reduce the spread of a virus and are “more practical” for the general population.

N95 masks, on the other hand, block out airborne particles, which may not be relevant in the event of a disease outbreak.

When worn correctly, N95 masks are tight-fitting and uncomfortable for the user, so they might be impractical. Expectedly, N95 masks are also more expensive than surgical masks.

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Hence, MOH advises Singaporeans to opt for surgical masks instead.

N95 masks sold out in several Singapore pharmacies

Many Singaporeans, however, already went ahead to stock up on N95 masks, fearing that they might run out as the disease continues to spread.

In fact, sales of masks reportedly quadrupled over the past 2 weeks and N95 masks were sold out in several Guardian and Watson stores, according to The Straits Times.

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Surgical masks will be available if Wuhan virus spreads to Singapore

However, given that some pharmacies are allegedly working on procuring marks, there is no need to worry about a shortage.

In the event where there’s a shortage, MOH will also “step in to help”.

So don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get the necessary equipment to stay protected should the virus strikes.

Share this so your friends and family know which mask to buy

Now that you know the difference between the 2 masks, share this article so your friends and family know which one to opt for. 

Meanwhile, even though there are no confirmed cases of the mysterious Wuhan virus in Singapore yet, it might be a good idea to start practising good hygiene to prepare ourselves.

After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Featured image adapted from HealthHub