From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : N95 Masks
Mains level : Coronovirus outbreak
In a new mandate to curb unnecessary demand, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration said that chemists cannot sell N95 masks without a doctor’s prescription. The FDA also warned that serious action would be taken against those who are found selling masks at high prices or hoarding them.
Why such a move?
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and N95 masks are being sold at very high prices in medical shops. The State has received many complaints about the same.
- It has also been found that many are making bulk purchases and hording PPE kits and N95 masks.
- Since the COVID-19 outbreak in China, shortage of PPE gear and masks has been reported from across the world.
- While the Indian government has currently banned exports of N95 masks, the manufacturers are focussed on making other surgical marks to get good returns from exports.
- A disposable N95 mask (respirator) is a safety device that covers the nose and mouth and helps protect the wearer from breathing in some hazardous substances.
- An N95 respirator is designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.
- The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles.
- If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.