Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, has cautioned Nigerians against indiscriminate wearing of face mask in a bid to prevent themselves from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mamora gave the advice at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Monday, noting that face mask was not meant for healthy people but for those manifesting symptoms.
He said “as far as I am concerned, face mask is not meant for people without symptoms.
“People who need face mask are those already manifesting symptoms.
“If you are coughing or you are sneezing and you cannot stay at home to get over that period or maybe you have to go to work, then you also have a duty apart from wanting to protect yourself in that circumstance, the greater duty is for you to protect the person around you.
“That is why the face mask may be necessary if you are having symptoms but without symptoms, it is just an unnecessary hype and being overzealous.”
Mamora, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the information that some schools were asking students to wear face mask.
According to him, a particular school in Abuja insisted that pupils must wear face mask, which is wrong.
“ There is no basis for that, unless you can establish that the particular child is coughing or sneezing, that is when that will be necessary.’’
The minister, however, explained that health workers and those at risk of getting infected with the virus needed to wear face mask, especially while attending to patients.
“The people that really need to wear face mask are caregivers, either doctors, nurses, even the cleaners within the isolation ward.
“We call them PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), doctors attending to patients or nurses who probably need to serve medication will have to kit themselves up within this PPE.
“They need to kit themselves with gown, the boots, the face mask and all that, these are the people and others working there like the cleaners and attendants.”
The minister, who also advised Nigerians not to panic but remain calm, however cautioned against hugging and handshaking.
He said “this is not the time for handshaking; you might have sanitised your hands, how about the hand you are shaking?.
“As much as possible, this is the time to cut down hand shakes; these are critical things that are very important at this point in time.
“If you have any symptoms, make sure you go the hospital.
“Avoid self-medication, maintain good hygiene, always wash your hands with soap and water, stay informed on latest developments about Covid-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Federal Ministry of Health.