Made of melt-blown polypropylene fibre fabric, surgical masks provides more effective filtration because of an electrostatic charge applied to them using a device called the corona charger (the device, however, wasn’t named for the disease and has been around for many years). This not only makes the masks more breathable but also more effective at blocking particles —surgical masks are three times better than homemade masks at preventing viral transmission.
N95 masks are not only capable of protecting others from infection but can also protect the wearer. The tight-fitting masks ensure the wearer only breathes
air coming through the masks’ filters. N95s use high electrostatic charges in the filtration material to block 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. But because of their limited supply, these high-grade masks are thus reserved for medical professionals only.
More on Covid-19
Illustrations: Sajeev Kumarapuram | Source: New Yorker, media reports