In the wake of Indian government advisory to all states to preventing inappropriate use of N 95 masks (particularly with valved respirator) which is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of Covid-19, most people in Visakhapatnam caring too hoots and still boasting N 95 masks on their faces. Medical shops in and around the city doing brisk business in selling N 95 masks.
According to public health experts, AP government is yet to come with specific guidelines regarding usage of N95 masks, resulting which people are in quandary. Though 20 per cent of the city population prefers to N 95 masks remaining prefer to locally made masks which are abundant in the markets.
Sriveni, Taylor in the Akkyapalem said daily I used stich 50 triple layers masks and get 6 rupees for each mask. Now I hope to get more orders if people stop wearing of N95 masks. Many of the self-help groups and local manufacturers of cloth masks are upbeat about their future income. Nagendra, cloth mask manufacturer in the city, said with 15 women who will be able to create up to 7,000 marks each week, which are washable and reusable. Now demand for the cloth masks will grow thereby adding more income during this Covid-19 times.
Malla in NGGOs colony, feels elated upon hearing the news of government banning the N95 masks which are detrimental in nature. She along with her yielder sister busy in making masks to protect few hundred from coronavirus and at the same time are supporting their family financially during the Covid 19 times. Another worker who stiches 40 to 50 masks a day, said our masks sells at Rs. 20 which is affordable to the poorest of the poor and vulnerable people when compared to N95 masks which costs between Rs. 150 to Rs. 300.
For most of women entrepreneurs in Visakhapatnam, the directive from the centre to stop wearing N95 masks came as much needed boost to create more employment opportunities to the skilled tailors thereby providing livelihood support to make sure that families can deal with the economic blow that the pandemic has brought on to them.
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