Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that the washing of surgical face mask for reuse by people poses a high risk of Coronavirus spread.
The Centre gave the advice on Monday when photos of some women alleged to be from the Republic of Congo were seen on the social media space washing surgical face masks for reuse.
In a series of tweet on its official Twitter handle at @NCDCgov, to educate the Nigerian public on the dangers of such act, the centre said “such act poses RISK for #COVID19 spread”.
The centre advised that only surgical mask from original packaging should be used, adding that all used masks should be properly disposed in a bin.
Also, the agency on its website handed down the following advice to Nigerians to help curb the spread of the pandemic.
- The wearing of face masks, (or equivalent) is recommended as an optional additional layer to be used in addition to other measures such as physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene measures in Nigeria.
The primary rationale for the advice on face masks is to prevent those who are infected but asymptomatic from spreading the virus. Masks have to be properly disposed of in waste bins. Improper handling and frequently
touching masks can increase the risk of infection. Improvised masks are also an option – as long as they are properly washed regularly. They can be made out of cloth or other materials.
- The usage of face masks is particularly advised while attending large gatherings (where it is absolutely necessary to attend). These include but are not limited to shopping outlets, markets, shops and pharmacies among
- Given the global shortage of personal protective equipment including medical masks, public sector resources should be preserved to procure medical masks for patients anhealthcare workers who need them the most.
- The wearing of face masks alone will not protect against COVID-19, but must be combined with physical distancing, hand washing, respiratory hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and other
advice from NCDC.
- Older persons (> 60) with existing medical conditions such as diabetes are particularly encouraged to wear masks as they are at higher risk of infection. It is also further advised that face masks are used by more vulnerable members of the society, citizens with ongoing respiratory problems, and those already exhibiting symptoms and awaiting testing.
For more advice: https://twitter.com/NCDCgov/status/1252292628957315077?s=19