NL residents don't know how to use mouth caps: Red Cross

Mother and child wearing medical masks and cleansing their hands
Mother and child wearing medical masks and cleansing their handsFamVeldmanDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Netherlands residents are not sure about how to use mouth caps or medical masks to prevent infection with the coronavirus Covid-19, according to a study by the Red Cross. The aid organization therefore advises people to prepare themselves well - also on the proper use of medical masks - before they travel, NOS reports.

According to the Red Cross, 80 percent of respondents think that people who travel to countries with Covid-19 outbreaks should wear masks in public places such as airports and train stations. But in principle, only care providers and people with fever or respiratory problems need to wear a mouth cap. And the incorrect use of these medical masks can actually increase the risk of infection - something only a third of respondents were aware of.

It is important to wash your hands well and often with soap or alcohol, especially before putting on a mask and after taking it off. Don't touch your nose, eyes or mouth. Don't touch the mask while it is on your face. Don't use a single-use mask more than once. And discard a used mask into a closed bin immediately after use. 

If you cough or sneeze, it is best to do that into a paper handkerchief. Sneezing or coughing into your elbow is also an option, but then it is wise to wash the clothes afterwards, the Red Cross advised. The aid organization set up a website with tips on how to avoid a Covid-19 infection.