Cloth Masks for Covid-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the global demand for surgical masks skyrocketed. This surge in demand led to a shortage of these essential supplies, creating a critical situation for healthcare workers and individuals in high-risk environments.

To address the shortage of surgical masks, the use of cloth masks emerged as a practical solution. Cloth masks, typically made from multiple layers of fabric, were considered a viable alternative for the general public and non-healthcare personnel. By utilizing cloth masks, the available stock of surgical masks could be preserved for those working on the front lines of the pandemic response.

The use of cloth masks also provided an opportunity for individuals to contribute to community safety and support public health efforts. They could help by sewing cloth masks at home, using them and even donating them to different types of institutions. Moreover, by wearing cloth masks, people demonstrated their willingness to take collective action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, thereby reducing the overall transmission risk within their communities.



Later, this solution was approved by health organisations such as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization (WHO). While cloth face masks are not as effective as medical-grade masks at blocking respiratory droplets, they are still effective at reducing the spread of the virus.

The recommendation to wear cloth face masks was particularly important in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was a shortage of medical-grade masks. Cloth face masks helped to ensure that everyone had access to some form of protection against the virus.


At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a shortage of medical-grade masks, such as N95 respirators and surgical masks. To ensure an adequate supply for healthcare workers and those in direct contact with infected individuals, cloth masks were recommended for the general public as an alternative.


Copyright ENGAGE Project 2021