WHO Emphasizes Guidance on Wearing Face Masks


By Suzan Muhindo


So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has registered about 743,081 cases with about 35,347 deaths and 157,046 recovered; without excluding Uganda’s own 33 cases.

The government in conjunction with WHO, have passed preventive measures including washing hands frequently, maintaining social distance, and restricting movement through a lockdown. Due to the rising numbers of cases, sensitization is being done countrywide, in different languages, by different persons including musicians, preventive awareness among the masses has grown. 

However, a growing trend on using face masks as a means of prevention, has grown popular as many have resorted to making their own. 

It’s important to note that according WHO, this practice is not recommended. 
“There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the WHO, these are the guidelines regarding Facemasks. When to use a Mask• If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.

• 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.
When and how to wear medical masks 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.


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