Novel coronavirus is believed being tiny enough (0.08–0.14 μm) to enter through breathing apparatus, thus protection available from cloth mask could possibly be too low. However, the use of cloth face mask in community may be recommended through the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and regulatory bodies of other countries. There is paucity of literature on efficacy of cloth breathing apparatus in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection transmission; thus, this review aims to update the accessible most recent evidences on efficacy of cloth markers in prevention of viral infection transmission.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Clinical Trials Register for identifying studies associated with this review using free-text terms and MeSH terms. Both experimental and observational studies on efficacy of cloth masks which were published in English language happen to be one of them review except expert opinions, commentaries, editorials, and review articles. Twelve studies were eligible to be incorporated into review for data extraction and qualitative synthesis was carried out from extracted data but quantitative analysis (meta-analysis) cannot be practiced because of serious heterogeneity relating to the studies.
In general, the word “nose and mouth mask” governs a variety of protective equipment with all the primary function of decreasing the transmission of particles or droplets. The most common application in modern medicine is usually to provide protection on the wearer (e.g., first responders), but surgical face mask were originally introduced to protect surrounding persons from the wearer, like protecting patients with open wounds against infectious agents through the surgical team (3) or perhaps the persons surrounding a tuberculosis patient from contracting the condition via airborne droplets (4). This latter role continues to be embraced by multiple governments and regulatory agencies (5), since patients with COVID-19 might be asymptomatic but contagious for many days (6). The premise of protection from infected persons wearing a mask is easy: Wearing a breathing filter will reduce the spread of respiratory droplets containing viruses. Recent studies claim that wearing face masks reduces the spread of COVID-19 with a population level and thus blunts the development in the epidemic curve (7, 8).