Facemasks are not a replacement for social distancing, hand hygiene and other public health measures as was said by the World Health Organization.
Facemasks are only a part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID 19.
The World Health Organization still recommend testing, isolation, treatment of every case, tracing and quarantine as the cornerstone of the response in every country. According to the WHO “that is what we know that work.”
The WHO also advised on the do’s and don’ts of wearing facemasks. The do’s start with cleaning of hands before touching the masks and ends with cleaning of hands after removing the masks. The details of the do’s include:
- Clean hands before holding the mask
- Inspect the mask for damage or dirt
- For medical mask, ensure the coloured-side faces outward and place the metal piece over the nose.
- Adjust the mask to the face without having gabs on the sides
- The mask should cover the mouth, nose and chin
- Avoid touching the mask
- Remove the mask by the straps behind the ears or head
- Pull the mask away from the face
- Store the mask in a clean plastic, resealable bag if it is not dirty or wet. This is especially when there is plan to re-use it
- Remove the mask by the straps when taking it out of the bag
- Wash the mask in soap, preferably with hot water, ay least once daily
- Clean hands after removing the mask
The WHO also advised on the don’ts of wearing facemasks and they include:
- Do not wear the mask under the nose
- Do not remove the mask where there are people within 1 meter
- Do not use a mask that is difficult to breath through
- Do not wear a dirty or wet mask
- Do not share masks with others
Remember, a fabric mask can protect others that are around you and does not protect you. Therefore, there is need to protect yourself by maintaining at least 1 meter distance from others and frequent hand cleaning.