Aapka Sahara Foundation has been proud to distribute over 500 surgical masks in the old age homes of Mumbai. Approximately 5% of all old age homes in Maharashtra were covered. The benefit of prioritizing the distribution of masks in the elderly population is immense considering their susceptibility.
Optimal distribution of masks offering protection and containment ensures a reduction in morbidity and mortality. This is a desirable outcome which may reduce the immediate burden on healthcare i.e., the burden of accommodating patients suffering from COVID-19, resulting in significantly increased morbidity and mortality. There has been an urgent need to utilize effective potential interventions to limit the spread of the disease.
With a limited public supply, medical grade masks have been prioritized for vulnerable and infected individuals in order to optimize the reduction in morbidity and mortality. With a slowly unfurling vaccine and limited therapeutic options, face mask use is an important component of public health measures to limit the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
benefits of mask distribution are apparent even with low effectiveness and limited resources. Mask deployment has not only had an impact on total infections and deaths, but the indirect benefits for outbreak management are also achieved by delaying the epidemic peak. While there remains much uncertainty around the true efficacy of face masks— especially when factoring in differences in mask types, levels of adherence, and patterns of human behaviour—there is evidence to suggest that masks can provide a measure of protection and containment for respiratory viruses.
Systematic reviews have considered the reduction of transmission associated with mask wearing for respiratory viruses.