Series COVID-19: How to Put on and Remove a Face Mask Properly (Surgical Masks)

It is no exaggeration to say that 2020 was swayed by COVID-19.
The Expat’s Guide to Japan is now sharing information on how to prevent, deal with the viruses and so on with the help of Smart119.

The second topic in the series is “How to Put on and Remove a Face Mask Properly (Surgical Masks)”.


Wearing a mask has become an everyday thing in Japan, and it has almost becoming a matter of public etiquette.

It’s now an everyday thing, but you may not know proper way of putting on (or taking off) the mask.
In order to reduce the risk of infection, let us learn or confirm how to wear and remove a mask.

How to wear & remove a mask?

1. Wash your hands before putting mask on.
*Hands can be dirty, so wash them thoroughly to prevent infection to the mask strings.

2. Hold the mask strings and put it on (extend the strings and hung them over your ears)
*Check which side is front and back of the mask when you put it.
*Cover your nose, mouth and chin.
*Touch only where you need to.

3. Never touch your mask and face after you put it on.

Wash your hands before & after

4. Hold only the strings when you remove the mask.
*The mask may be contaminated.
(Medical professionals must dispose them in Orange Hazard.)

5. Wash your hands after removing the mask because you have just touched the dirty mask!

!! Important !!
Wash hands before and after the action.
Touch only the strings.

Uncertain things & things under study

・The effects of antiviral drugs such as Avigan
・Mortality rate and antibody (defense)
・The difference in type and the season of epidemic
・Accuracy problems in inspection
・Fact and the reason that children are less likely to become seriously ill

Many things uncertain & under study

 Points of measures
・It is highly possible that the virus has already infected your surroundings when symptoms appear to you.
・Everyone including those who have no symptoms to wear masks will prevent its spread.
・Social distance is also effective until an effective vaccine/therapeutic drug is available.

Smart119

*The article was written by Professor Takaaki Nakata (Professor of Emergency Intensive Care Medicine, Chiba University) who teaches at Chiba University, and Toshifumi Taniguchi (Lecturer of Internal Medicine, Chiba University Hospital).
The attached manga-style illustration is also supervised by the two above.

*What is Smart119?
Smart119 Co., Ltd. is a venture company established by an active emergency doctor from Chiba University School of Medicine.
More about Smart119.

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Dr. Passport: bilingual medical phrasebook - your handy helper at Japanese hospitals
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