With the outbreak of COVID-19, many Nigerians are finding ways to protect themselves from the virus. One of the measures people have adopted is the use of face masks. Various types of face masks are seen on people around Abuja town and some persons wear them with little or no knowledge about the type of mask they are using or even how to use them.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) it is not necessary for people without symptoms to wear masks unless you are told to by the local Authorities; you are in a high-risk area such as a hospital; or you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection, or you are in any form of contact with a person who has been around an infected person.
Therefore, If you must use a mask, for any of the above reasons, you need to observe the following;
- Wash your hands with soap and running water or rub your hands with an alcohol based sanitizer before putting on a face mask.
- Use an N95 mask or FFP2/FFP3, which is recommended over a standard surgical mask.
- Ensure that the mask fits securely over the bridge of the nose and chin, minimizing gaps in the fit.
- Ensure that facial hair is kept clean or removed.
- Do not touch face masks while using it.
- Do not reuse your disposable face mask after one use.
- Remove your face mask from behind; do not touch the front of the mask, use the bands or straps.
- Dispose your face mask, immediately you take it off, in a closed bin.
- Don’t forget that masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based sanitizers or soap and running water.
- Cotton/gauze masks and using of other materials to cover face against COVID-19 are not recommended under any circumstances.
Remember that use of a mask is only one part of personal protection. Not touching your nose, eyes and mouth and regular hand cleaning with alcohol based sanitizers or soap and running water are strongly recommended.
While the world is yet to find a cure to the Corona Virus Pandemic, Stay Home and Stay Safe!
Story & Pictures: Asma’u Sani