Video grab of face mask being removed from dog’s stomach in Tamil Nadu.
(Credit: Twitter/ IAS Supriya Sahu)

A viral video shows a mask being removed by vets in Tamil Nadu. Desi Twitter raises concern.

Masks and PPE kits have become a part of our everyday life as the world battles the deadly covid pandemic. In India, which had seen a harrowing surge in covid cases, the need for double masks became the utmost need of the hour. However, the proper disposal of these masks has become a big issue among medical health professionals and essential workers around the world, amid the pandemic.

In another recent incident, a viral video shows how a team of veterinarians in Tamil Nadu removed a face mask from the stomach of a Siberian Husky. The video has been tweeted by IAS officer Supriya Sahu, who took to Twitter to write, “The masks we carelessly throw away can end up killing animals. A team of veterinarians from TN University of Veterinary & animal sciences at Chennai successfully removed a face mask from the stomach of a Siberian Husky dog. Video not for faint-hearted. Please ensure safe disposal.”

The masks we carelessly throw away can end up killing animals.A team of veterinarians from TN University of Veterinary & animal sciences at Chennai successfully removed a face mask from the stomach of a Siberian Husky dog. Video not for faint hearted.Please ensure safe disposal pic.twitter.com/rdC72gjxLr— Supriya Sahu IAS (@supriyasahuias) June 12, 2021

It has been obviously assumed that the dog must have swallowed it while the mask was lying unattended. The video sent shocks across the social media platform, where netizens came together to urge each in being careful while disposing and keeping masks safely.

Oh my god. Plz throw mask in dust bin only. Don’t throw outside any were.— NanavalaR (@r_nanavala) June 12, 2021

OMG terrible ma’am!— Jayaraj Sundar (@SundarJayaraj) June 12, 2021

Appeal: Pls save Nature and it’s creatures who can’t speak but feel every feeling. Thanks to Doctors here again — Rahul Saraswat (@rahulsaraswat77) June 12, 2021

A valid point mam. But Siberian Husky’s are one of the expensive and well maintained breed – Probably a in home accidental swallowing of the mask or perhaps during a walk?— Nagesh ️ (@nageshwarank) June 12, 2021

I salute the team of the veterinary doctors & their colleagues for the proper treatment. A silent message for all of us that we should properly dispose the masks &have common sense,do not play with the lives of the poor animals/ birds as our casual behaviour can cause death….— Dr Vinod Kumar Gupta (@Drvinodguptavet) June 13, 2021

With maks, gloves and other PPE gear being in wide use, concerns regarding the environmental damage caused by improper disposal of these items have been on the rise. A couple of weeks ago, a French environmental organisation has found several discarded masks and gloves along with other waste inside the Mediterranean.

An NGO by the name of Opération Mer Propre (Operation clean sea), that actively works in cleaning underwater waste from the Mediterranean sea around the Antibes region in southern France, recently collected nine surgical face masks and 14 latex gloves from the sea-bed near coastal Côte d’Azur resort.

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