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India may bring in standard model for medical masks

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 19:00 This news item was posted in Legal, medical devices category and has 0 Comments so far.

In the wake of re-surging H1N1 swine flu infections in India, the central government is planning to bring in a standard model for medical face masks sold in the country, reports said.

The new standard norms, which the government is currently working on, will be equally applicable for domestic as well as imported medical masks sold across India.

The new model of Indian mask could be based on the current the European Surgical Mask format of EN14683, sources said.

As much as 99 per cent of the masks sold in India are 2-ply masks. The two-ply masks do not qualify as surgical masks in Europe or the USA. These masks are not effective in controlling infections in severe outbreaks.

Instead, India would require 3-ply masks with bacteria filtration efficiency. Only 3-ply masks can effectively tackle infectious outbreaks like H1N1 swine flu in Indian conditions, experts said.

The Indian mask industry should also be under the supervision of a regulatory body such as the FDA like in the USA.

Currently, China dominates the global mask market is dominated by China. The price factor comes in for the large foreign buyers because masks belong to the category of disposable products.

There are about five established manufacturers with imported Taiwanese production lines in Indian mask market.

The mask market is still in the development stage in India and with 1.2 billion people there are plenty of growth prospects. The consumption is steadily increasing by about 25 per cent year-on-year.

Going by the rise in air pollution levels, soon two -wheel riders and commuters will need to use masks instead of handkerchiefs which will automatically kick in a demand explosion.

Protective masks are pieces of kit or equipment worn on the head and face to afford protection to the wearer, and today usually have these functions: providing a supply of air or filtering the outside air and protecting the face against flying objects or dangerous environments, while allowing vision.

Despite subsiding in other parts of the world, the H1N1 swine flu is reportedly in comeback trial in India with the onset of of monsoon.

A few cases of deaths and several instances of H1N1 positive cases have been reported in certain pockets in India.

Zydus Cadila has also recently launched India’s first indigenously made H1N1 swine flu vaccine VaxiFlu-S in the country.

The egg-based, inactivated vaccine based on conventional technology has been developed by the group’s researchers at its Vaccine Technology Centre (VTC) in Ahmedabad.

Zydus Cadila will become the first Indian pharma company to launch its vaccine which will be marketed under the brand name VaxiFlu-S.

In December, India placed an order with the French drug maker Sanofi Pasteur for supplying 1.5 million doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

The H1N1 virus is not airborne, to be considered an airborne virus, the microorganism would have to survive or remain in the air for long periods of time. The H1N1 virus, like all influenza viruses do not stay in the air in some sort of suspended animation. When a person sneezes, the virus is transferred via the droplets of the sneeze, if someone is infected this way it is known as infection by “droplet contact” or a “respiratory Route”

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