NCDC issues guidelines on use of cloths masks

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In a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on Friday have issued advisories to Nigerians in the wake of the relaxation of the stay-at-home order by the President of the federation, President Muhammad Buhari.

The NCDC explained in the advisory that COVID- 19 is spread via the respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Hence in the advisory, Nigerians are advised to maintain social distancing, physical distancing by maintaining a distance of 2 metres, washing of hands with soap under running water, frequent cleaning of surfaces with soap and water or disinfectants, alongside using of face mask.

While noting that the federal government have mandated the use of face masks for citizens, the shortage of the medical face masks have made it important for countries to diversify by producing face masks made from everyday fabric for the public. The advisory further explained that while the face masks made from fabric can act as a barrier to respiratory droplets, it cannot completely protect people from contracting the deadly virus. Hence people that are at a high risk of contracting the virus have been advised to use the medical face masks.

The NCDC therefore listed health care workers and those caring for the ill,  those experiencing respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing,  the elderly, and those with chronic medical condition to put on the medical face masks always.

Other recommendations are; don’t try on new masks from vendors or wear immediately after purchasing; Wash before first use, don’t reuse a cloth face mask before it has been washed and dried, don’t leave a used face mask on uncleaned surfaces or in the reach of small children while not in use, don’t pull down your mask to cough or sneeze.  Use a tissue or your bent elbow over the mask until you can safely remove the mask for washing.

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“it is very important that cloth face masks are handled and cared for properly to avoid the further”

“Spread of infectious agents. Please adhere to the following guidelines for the use of cloth face masks:  make sure the mask has been washed and is unused before first wear. Wash your hands with soap under running water before touching the mask.”

“If water is not available, use a hand sanitiser.  Cover your nose and mouth completely with the mask making sure it fits snuggly with no open gaps.  Avoid touching or adjusting the mask while it is on 5. Wash or sanitise your hands before removing the mask by the straps.  Wash the mask immediately with soap or detergent and allow it to dry completely in the sun and before re-use, iron the mask”, the advisory added.

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