Use the non-medical masks and always keep them on even when talking, says Health Minister Ruth Aceng.
Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng on Thursday advised Ugandans to consider using the non-medical masks and ensure they wear them all the time even when talking to others in public.
Dr Aceng who was the addressing the nation about the novel coronavirus re-echoed that wearing a mask is now mandatory in the country and that no individual will be allowed access into a public place minus a mask.
As a result, Dr Aceng explained that Ugandans should use the non-medical masks in a bid to cut costs because these can be washed, ironed and reused again unlike the medical ones that are supposed to be thrown away after using them once.
‘’There are two types of masks on the Ugandan market, the medical and non-medical masks. Medical masks should be preserved for health workers and are not reusable. The community is advised to use non-medical masks made out of fabric preferably cotton. It should be two layers with a filter inside,’’ Aceng explained.
Aceng was educating on the proper use of the masks. She advised the general public more so those buying the non-medical masks from the streets, to ensure they (masks) are sealed in transparent polythene to avoid contamination.
‘’Masks on sale should be sealed in transparent polythene to avoid contamination. Don’t pick used masks and do not share masks even with family members. Do not reuse medical masks. Do not buy medical masks from the streets,’’ she said adding that when wearing a mask, one should ensure it properly covers his or her chin and the nose to avoid being infected or infecting others with the virus.
Besides, Aceng advised Ugandans to desist from touching the inner and outer surfaces of these masks because this can easily transmit the virus to the soft parts of the body including the eyes, mouth and the nose.
‘’Your mask should cover your chin and also your nose. Do not touch the inner surface of your mask and also the front part of the mask. If you mistakenly touch the outer part of your mask, wash your hands with soap immediately. The masks should be kept on even when talking.
‘’Wash your reusable masks daily. Other people’s masks are potentially infectious so when you handle another person’s wash your hands immediately,’’ the health minister said.
Part of the measures in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, the Minister also warned against the use of air conditioning for example in places of work that this can help the virus even spread more quickly to others.
‘’It is not advisable to use air conditioning in the different rooms where you are or you will be working in. A well-ventilated place with free air circulation is advised.’’
Meanwhile, Aceng warned Ugandans that even in the presence of the masks, they should continue adhering to all directives in place such as maintaining social distance in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus.
‘’You should still maintain social distancing even when wearing a mask because the virus can still go through your eyes. You may also mistakenly touch other surfaces,’’ she warned.