Watch your mask

13 May 2020 | Health

Healthcare workers are worried about the improper use of face masks by members of the public, after it became compulsory to wear during stage two of the Covid-19 lockdown.
According to technical medical officer Dr Appolo Basenero some people remove their masks or pull the masks down to talk or cough while in public. “When they do that they are not protecting anyone because the droplets are already released into the air,” he said.
He said it has also been observed that some people share face masks or get used masks from others, mostly when they enter shopping malls or shops because they are not allowed to enter such facilities without masks. “This should be discouraged, because if your friend has an infection and used that mask, you will definitely get infected,” Basenero said.
National Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner Augustine Kastherody said people also touch their faces after wearing masks, which is also discouraged. He encourages people to wash their hands before putting on a mask and should select the right size and right materials for masks.
“Don’t touch the inside layer of the mask or share it with anyone. Dispose the masks far from children as they might take that contaminated mask and play with it, then get infected,” Kastherody said.
He added that there are different kinds of masks: The medical type which are designed to protect healthcare workers; and non-medical masks which are meant to protect other individuals around the healthcare workers.
He discouraged the general public from using medical masks as it might mean there will not be enough for healthcare workers. – Nampa

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