Good face mask disposal etiquette

KUCHING: The public is urged to dispose of their used face masks and hand gloves properly after use as leaving them lying around can pose health risks to others.

Bandar Kuching MP and practising physician Dr Kelvin Yii said there have been many complaints from the public that both the items are not properly disposed, with them thrown onto the street and even left on supermarket trolleys.

“This is not just a bad habit, but also very irresponsible as you may put someone else in danger and at risk of exposing them to an infection.

“The risk is especially true, especially for those mask that have been used or soiled or have a ‘large amount of respiratory secretions’ on them, as it could be a potential health hazard should others come in contact with it,” he said in a Facebook posting yesterday.

Dr Yii said the Covid-19 virus or even other bacteria can survive on the mask for hours thus risking others who come in contact with it.

“The best way to dispose of the mask is actually to properly fold it, cover it maybe with a tissue and throw it in a proper bin.

“One should always wash our hands before taking off the mask, as touching one’s face with unwashed hands heightens the risk of illnesses,” he said.

He advised that, the masks, when taken off must be folded inwards multiple times to prevent droplets from the wearer’s mouth and nose exposed.

“This is until the mask looks like a roll. The mask can also be wrapped with its ear loops so that it will not unravel,” he added.

He urged the public to play their roles in fighting the virus and reminded that good personal hygiene is not only the cleanliness of one’s body, but also proper disposal of face mask, gloves and personal items.