How to make your own coronavirus mask

In Hong Kong several massive robberies of masks occurred recently that caused panic among the population, still impacted by the Covid-19 coronavirus. Thousands of people spent the night in long lines at pharmacies to stock up on these basic protections, before it was too late. In addition to the shortage of supplies, the prices of these items have not stopped rising due to high demand and the willingness of some to speculate taking advantage of widespread fear.

In turn, in the rest of China and in the midst of despair, hundreds of citizens resorted to quite questionable methods, using plastic bras, pads and bottles to make homemade protections.

The authorities supported the use of these masks as a temporary measure, as long as there is no other option.

As a result of this situation, a group of scientists in Hong Kong devised a simple and economical method to manufacture masks with household materials. The Hong Kong-Shenzhen University Hospital, in collaboration with Science Park, published an explanatory video detailing the materials and steps needed in the development of this DIY mask (do-it-yourself, do it yourself).

Photo: Xiaomei Cheng / SCMP

«We hope to alleviate with this the panic of the population. In scientific evidence it was determined that these homemade masks provide a certain degree of protection for those who do not have a full-fledged mask, ”explained the executive director of the Committee of Elders, Doctor Lam Ching. "It can't be good to risk queuing at dawn," he said. He also tried to contact some schools to assess the option that schoolchildren in their homes can help to manufacture masks.

He stressed that the microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, the highest authority in Hong Kong facing the coronavirus, also supported the use of these masks as a temporary measure for those who do not have surgical masks.

Professor Yuen Kwok-yung

In laboratory tests carried out by the City University of Hong Kong, it was estimated that this "domestic manufacturing" model reaches between 80 and 90 percent effectiveness with respect to surgical masks, in terms of droplet and aerosol filtration.

If you find yourself in difficulties to get masks of traditional manufacture, you can use the method that we tell you here.

How to make your own mask and eye protection

Necessary elements:

  • Kitchen paper roll
  • Tissues
  • Rubber band

    By FML – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

  • Perforator (also called paper drill)

    By Photographer: Frank C. Müller – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

  • Sticking plaster roll
  • Scissors

    By ZooFari – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

  • Steel wire
  • Glasses or glasses
  • Dossier or transparent plastic carpet
  • Several tweezers or paper clips


  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Clean the described elements, as well as the work table.
  • Place two sheets of paper towels, one on top of the other. Turn an angle of 90º in one of them.
  • Unfold and spread a piece of tissue paper above.
  • Cut the paper set in half.
  • Using adhesive tape (paper tape) seal the sides.
  • Drill two holes on each side.
  • On the upper edge we put a piece of wire that will serve to adjust the nose. We fix it with tape on the side of the kitchen paper.
  • Finally we insert four elastic bands through the perforations.
  • So we put the mask

Eye protection

  • We separate the transparent dossier into two parts
  • Fix one of the transparent sheets on the glasses using the paper clips
  • This is how the mask is finally once put on


  • It is possible to reuse the eye protection sheet by disinfecting it after each use.
  • The hospital stated that materials such as transparent film, cotton cloths or air conditioning filters are not suitable.

Next the explanatory video:

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