When, how you should wear nose masks, hand gloves, by WHO

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, no doubt, has sparked a great deal of interest in what people are doing to avoid getting infected in over 200 countries of the world where there are virus outbreaks.

As a measure against preventing disease infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigerian Government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have strongly recommended physical or social distancing.

Physical distancing is regarded to be the most important step that can contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus but it must be in combination with the wearing of face masks and hand washing with soap and running water.

Since the face and the hands are crucial in the prevention efforts at defeating the pandemic, it is said every Nigerian should understand how to wash their hands correctly.

The use of face masks is recommended because they prevent the virus from getting into the respiratory system.

People touch their faces all the time, often without realising it, so an infected person can get the virus on their hands from their mouth or nose and pass it on to others, either directly or by contaminating a surface which others then touch. So regular hand washing is crucial.

However, consumers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) including nose masks among others, have asked a question as to whether cloth nose masks are really effective.

There are different grades of nose masks, the N95 mask gives 95 percent protection and it is advised to be used by those in the isolation wards and taking care of patients.

The N95 and surgical nose masks should not be worn by members of the public, rather face masks made from cloth and other suitable fabrics are recommended. Cloth nose masks are cheap, washable and reusable.

While the use of nose masks is acceptable, it should be noted that they do not provide absolute protection.

People must be trained on how to handle them properly. They must learn how to wear, remove and dispose of them properly.

According to WHO, any improper use coupled with constantly touching of the masks and the faces can make the nose masks potential sources of COVID-19 infection.

When and how to use nose masks
On its advice for the public on when and how to use masks, especially in the context of COVID-19 disease.

The world health body’s advisory is on the use of masks in communities, during home care, and in health care settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19.

It is intended for individuals in the community, public health and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) professionals, health care managers, health care workers (HCWs), and community health workers.

– Access the guidance
Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
This summarises WHO recommendations for the rational use of personal protective equipment (PPE), in health care and community settings, including the handling of cargo.

This document is intended for those involved in the distribution and management of PPE, as well as public health authorities and individuals in health care and community settings to understand when PPE use is most appropriate.

Tips on wearing medical masks, gloves to protect against Coronavirus
• Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

• Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.

• Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

• Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.

• To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

• If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19.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.

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