Washing our hands frequently and putting on a mask when we're sick are the first lines of defence against the coronavirus, which by now, should be a routine that we're all familiar with.
With the surge in demand for surgical masks, people are taking advantage of the situation by hoarding masks and peddling them at exorbitant prices just to earn a quick buck during this pandemic.
If you've bought masks through unverified sources, you may want to test if the masks you have at home are real or fake.
Gearbest, an e-commerce website, has put together a video showing five simple tips to put your masks to the test.
Here are some of the easy ways to do a quick check.
The first step is putting the mask through a fire test. If you're short on masks, I suggest performing the other steps first before circling back to this.
The step requires you to deconstruct the mask, then using a lighter, torch the middle layer. As seen in the video, if the mask is real, the layer will "melt" and disintegrate instead of catching fire.
A colleague of ours tried it on her mask and it works; she also noted that some masks will have the middle layer sewn to the front layer.
Another quick test you can do with your mask is the water test, by pouring a good amount of water onto the inner side of the mask.
A genuine surgical mask will hold the water and won't leak, unlike a fake mask (above, right), which looks flimsy when carrying a small amount of water and may not hold the water in.
The purpose of wearing a mask when you're sick is to prevent transmitting the virus via respiratory fluids when you cough or sneeze, so it's important that the mask contains the fluid.
A breath test can also be done by trying to blow out the flame from a lighter when wearing the mask.
The real mask consists of the melt-blown inner fabric, which aids in the filtration of gaseous and liquid materials, making it difficult for you to put out the flame.
Watch the full video to find out the other ways to test your mask.
ALSO READ: Doctor recommends making your own cloth face mask with air 'filter' - here's how to do it
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