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Why it’s very risky to share nose masks, others ─PTF on COVID-19

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of reported cases of some Nigerians sharing nose masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in the country in recent times, the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus (COVID-19) has warned of the danger in the practice.

“It is very risky to share masks,” Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of PTF on COVID-19, said while issuing the timely warning  at the briefing of the Taskforce, in Abuja, FCT, Tuesday, May 12.

Mustapha stated: “The PTF COVID-19 at virtually all its national briefings, consistently pleaded with Nigerians for their support and understanding, especially in complying with the advisories and guidelines issued.

“We also shared our assessment of the level of compliance and the risks associated with non-compliance.

“I wish to use this medium to once again underscore the imperative of collective survival because the lack of compliance by any person or group of persons poses a threat to all of us.

According to the SGF, “particularly, the PTF has become aware of the ongoing practice of sharing masks and picking of masks for recycling from dump sites.

“This places a lot of responsibilities on all of us to be self-educated and to educate others.

He stressed that Nigerians should note certain points in regard to the use of masks and other PPEs to curtail the spread of the fatal virus.

“With the exception of fabric masks, every disposable used mask is a hazardous medical waste and should be disposed of properly, preferably by burning.

“It is very risky to share masks as the virus is capable of remaining on surfaces for several hours and you could get infected.

“The unhealthy practice of picking up disposed masks for whatever purpose is harmful to both the individual picking it, and whoever procures it later.”

He as well reminded all that it would be helpful for high risk people such as the elderly and those with comorbidities (multiple illnesses), to wear masks or face covering and avoid crowded places.

“As we reminded you earlier, please keep grandchildren away from their grandparents to avoid any transmission. Most importantly, emphatically say no to stigmatisation.”

The SGF reiterated that the PTF commenced focus on community ownership, guidance, acceptance and implementation in the control of COVID-19.

Mustapha charged other corporate citizens and public-spirited individuals to play significant roles by injecting the much-needed investment into the rural health infrastructure for the good of all.

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