AN infectious disease physician, Dr Kemi Adekanmbi, has urged Nigerians not to wear face masks everywhere in an attempt to protect themselves from Coronavirus because they are not effective in preventing the general public from catching the disease.
Dr Adekanmbi, speaking at the University College Hospital (UCH) grand round on Coronavirus with the theme ‘the emergence of coronavirus in Nigeria: State of preparedness in UCH’, said the rush for masks can result in stores nationwide running out of masks for those who really need them.
According to her, the masks are supposed to be worn by infected individuals to prevent spreading the virus when coughing, talking or sneezing as well as health workers that are in close contact with people coughing or sneezing in their line of work.
She declared: “If I just wear a mask because I am going to the supermarket, for instance, or walking around, it has not been shown to be protective. The most important thing actually is hand washing.
“Some people will wear a mask but they will not wash their hands. They will touch a dirty surface, remove their mask and then touch their face. All the work that the mask has done has been nullified by that.”
Dr Adekanmbi added that, ”the only one way to wear the mask is to have its white side facing you and the coloured part facing outwards for it to be protective” unlike it is suggested in the social media.
Dr Adekanmbi said that hand washing, staying home when sick and other everyday preventive actions are the best forms of protection against Coronavirus.
Dr Adeola Fowotade, a clinical virologist, said there is the possibility of contracting Coronavirus while talking with people and cautioned people on keeping at least a meter distance when talking to people protect themselves from contracting Coronavirus.
The virologist noting that a lot is still unknown about Coronavirus warned against consumption of improperly cooked meat, also linked with Coronavirus in China.
She, however, said that it is only in about 20 per cent of all cases that the infection becomes severe and complications such as organ failure, and severe pneumonia set in.
According to Dr Fowotade, obese people and those living with diseases that lower body immunity such as diabetes and heart diseases also stand a higher risk of coming down with Coronavirus.