Answer Bank: How to dispose your masks to avoid secondary contamination
Zhang Ziyu

Masks can help stop the spread of coronavirus not just from those infected, but also by preventing the wearer from contracting the virus from other carriers during the COVID-19 outbreak.  

With more and more people using masks, concerns are being raised about how to dispose of them after use to avoid secondary contamination? 

For people in low-risk areas, masks need to be tightly packed in bags and disposed of as non-recyclable garbage. 

People who have symptoms like fever and cough are asked to spray disinfectant on the mask and seal the mask in a bag before discarding.  

Masks worn by those confirmed to carry the COVID-19 virus should be discarded as medical waste and handled by professionals, according to China's National Health Commission. 

"In these garbage sorting processes, we barely need any workers at the workplace, which could reduce the possibility of cross-contamination," said Liu Lifeng from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China during a press conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council. 

Cover image designed by Sa Ren