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Transparent masks used to communicate with the hearing-impaired.

Transparent masks are a possibility that could be used by those who are around or have to deal with hearing-impaired people, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram has said.

He was replying to queries at yesterday’s briefing where infection control nurse Keisha Prevatt-Gomez also spoke about the use of masks.

On how challenges for deaf people can be handled where the use of masks by others are concerned, Prevatt-Gomez endorsed the words of Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh. He said that people need to wear masks to protect those hearing-impaired among them from getting the COVID-19 virus. Deyalsingh also said allowances can be made for situations involving deaf people.

Parasram added that some countries had advised people to use transparent masks where they’re dealing with hearing-impaired people. The latter would then be able to read the lips of those wearing masks,

“We can look into this, it may be an option to wear transparent masks or wear something clear close to the mouth – this has been done in other states and it may a possibility here,” Parasram added.

Prevatt-Gomez reminded the public that masks must be used especially when social distancing opportunity isn’t available. It can be removed if social distancing space is fully available.

But she stressed masks alone don’t protect people from contamination since other steps are also necessary: social distancing, hand hygiene and staying home unless one has to go to work or briefly to purchase items.

Prevatt-Gomez advised that when masks are removed they should be placed in a paper or plastic bag and not put in a pocket or handbag where they can get contaminated.