COVID-19: NCDC Recommends Wearing Face Masks

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is recommending the use of face as “an optional layer” to protect against COVID-19.

The information was contained in the NCDC’s “Advisory on the
Use of Masks by Members of the Public Without Respiratory Symptoms”, released on Tuesday.

The document advises older people with pre-existing conditions and people visiting crowded places like markets to wear face masks.

Here are NCDC’s recommendations:

  1. The wearing of face masks, (or equivalent) is recommended as an optional
    additional layer to be used in addition to other measures such as physical
    distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene measures in Nigeria. The primary rationale for the advice on face masks is to prevent those who
    are infected but asymptomatic from spreading the virus.

Masks have to be properly disposed of in waste bins. Improper handling and frequently touching masks can increase the risk of infection. Improvised masks are also an option – as long as they are properly washed regularly. They can
be made out of cloth or other materials.

  1. The usage of face masks is particularly advised while attending large
    gatherings (where it is absolutely necessary to attend). These include but
    are not limited to shopping outlets, markets, shops and pharmacies among
    others.
  2. Given the global shortage of personal protective equipment including
    medical masks, public sector resources should be preserved to procure
    medical masks for patients and healthcare workers who need them the
    most.
  3. The wearing of face masks alone will not protect against COVID-19, but
    must be combined with physical distancing, handwashing, respiratory
    hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and other
    advice from NCDC.
  4. Older persons (> 60) with existing medical conditions such as diabetes
    are particularly encouraged to wear masks as they are at higher risk
    of infection. It is also further advised that face masks are used by more
    vulnerable members of the society, citizens with ongoing respiratory
    problems, and those already exhibiting symptoms and awaiting testing.




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