To wear or not to wear? That had been the key question during the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many people remain unsure about whether a face mask is essential to keep them safe.
The face mask has been highly recommended by the Cameroonian minister of health. However, this doesn’t mean you should be less vigilant. There should be worn alongside more important hygienic measures. They are effective when used in combination with regular hand washing with soap and clean water.
Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health Dr Malachie Manaouda in a tweet advised for Cameroonians to start making use of the face mask . This is necessary if people need to leave their homes or just stay home. The rate of COVID-19 cases in Cameroon keeps increasing. Official statistics indicating 509 positive cases as of April 3rd, 8 deaths and 17 recoveries.
People had already begun using the face mask even without knowing who needs it. Many do not know how to properly take care of them or wear them. WHO initially did not obligate everyone to wear them to curb COVID19. Considering the minister’s call for their usage , here are a list of important things to note.
Here’s what to first note about the Face Mask.
- It is very vital and important for those who are sick. WHO officials recommended those infected with the COVID-19 virus to wear masks. This will prevent them from spreading the virus.
- Healthy persons need to wear face mask if they are taking care of suspected or positive person(s) of COVID-19. Hereby, protecting themselves and preventing further transmission throughout a family.Health Care Workers are now the people most at risk and so need them more.
- Wear the face mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Wear it when you feel sick with the flu like symptoms of the virus
Masks are however effective only when used in combination with regular hand-cleaning. Always use soap and clean water and an alcohol-based sanitizer. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.Removing your mask from your nose or touching the outside of the mask makes it less effective.
Here’s how to use the face mask as recommended by W.H.O (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION).
- Before putting on a mask, wash your hands thoroughly with clean water and soap. You can use an alcohol-based sanitizer too.
- Now cover your mouth and nose with the mask. Make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while it is already on. If you mistakenly do, wash hands with soap and clean water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is slightly wet or moistened. Do not re-use single-use masks.
- Home made masks are also advisable in case of shortage though less effective. Theses masks should be properly disinfected before and after usage (can be re-usable).
- Remove face mask from behind (do not touch the front part). Discard medical masks immediately in a closed trashcan. Wash your hands immediately with soap and clean water or with alcohol-based sanitizer.
Prevention is Better Than Cure. Stay Safe!!!