PPE- the acronym for “Personalised Protective Equipment”, are on high demand due to the pandemic situation. Indian health ecosystem and frontline workers are the ones who need this ASAP. Government has roped in all the public and private arm of companies to manufacture the PPE’s indigenously and that too on faster pace. With growing number of people from the frontline fighters getting infected with the monster virus, the demand for intensive production is on its peak. ITC- the major FMCG giant has already started it’s manufacturing of sanitizers on mass scale. Indian Railways has been toiling to prepare mass isolation facilities in the compartments. Apart from this, railway also announced regarding manufacturing of washable masks.
Why Masks are Necessary?
As wearing masks have been made mandatory for public places and at work, the national transporter will manufacture over 1 lakh washable face masks using the cloth material that is used to produce bright orange uniform worn by railway trackmen, as well as the plain white uniform worn by other railway employees. According to an IE report, the Northern Railway zone, which has been leading the charge in making things to fight the novel coronavirus such as isolation coaches, hand sanitisers and PPE coverall suits has issued instructions to manufacture the masks from the cloth with the material meant for the uniform of railwaymen. Each mask produced by the railways will cost Rs 5.94, on the other hand, the same quality mask in the market costs approximately Rs 7.50.
How is Indian Railways Manufacturing Masks?
As per the update, 5,000 meters of surplus cloth that was meant for orange and white uniforms have been identified by the workshops, lying idle for some time. As per the calculations of engineers, over 1 lakh masks can be yielded in no time and can be supplied across the country for its various units on demand.
Before starting the production, the mask designs that are available in the market were studied and in consultation with railway hospitals, a design was finalized. According to officials, the basic requirement has been ensured i.e., full covering of the nose and mouth, correct tension of elastic, etc.
Is Wearing Mask Mandatory
To prevent COVID-19 from spreading, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promoting homemade masks. He recently tweeted stating that one of the most important tasks is to be a part of #TeamMaskForce. He further said that small but necessary precautions can keep everyone safe from the coronavirus infection while endorsing the wearing of masks. So far, one lot has already been supplied to the railway hospitals as well as other workshops. In the national capital, Railway staff colonies have placed an order on payment basis.
In case you are using washable masks, MOHFW guidelines came handy in ensuring hygiene and safety of these masks:
How to Clean and Sanitize your Homemade Face Cover Everyday
- Thoroughly wash the face cover in soap and warm water and leave it to dry in hot sun for at least 5 hours. If you do not have access to the sun, follow Option 2.
- Place the face cover in water in a pressure cooker and pressure boil it for at least 10 minutes and leave it to dry. Adding salt to the water is recommended. In the absence of a pressure cooker, you may boil the cloth face cover in hot water for 15 minutes.
- Wash and clean with soap and apply heat on the face cover for up to five minutes. (You may use an iron).
Railrecipe urges everyone to wear masks during any sort of commute activity. Walk out of your house only for essential items else try and avoid going out for other needs. Wearing masks has already been made mandatory in major developed countries as well. We all should abide by this as our duty and also spread the awareness among people of our society for the same.