The truth about wearing face masks

People are currently confused as to whether the wearing of face masks is necessary or optional. Certain shops, specifically Clicks at the Rosehill Mall, have notices in the shop windows indicating that gloves and masks might be causing more problems than resolving.

Here is what the latest at the World Health Organisation (WHO) says:

When to wear a mask

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

There is a lot more information, including videos, demonstrations and slide shows to help you understand more about Covid-19 on the WHO website; https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

Meanwhile in South Africa, despite its extremely tight regulations during the lockdown, confusion still reigns as the government is far less decisive on the issue.

“[three days ago] Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has urged the public to wear masks to protect themselves and others from coronavirus infection. The Western Cape Department of Health says it’s both unnecessary and potentially risky. Now Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has ordered taxis to supply passengers with medical-grade masks – all while the great mask debate continues to rage globally, along with a shortage of masks.” Maverick Citizen.

So, the question is still in abeyance. The safest way to prevent Covid-19 infection is to completely isolate yourself from anyone who could potentially carry the virus (and that means anyone and everyone). This is very difficult to do, so perhaps masks and gloves, if worn and removed properly, might be the best course of action.

What do you think? Your answers on our Facebook page or group.

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