Barrier masks not meant for health professionals – NAFDAC

Nigerians wearing face mask since the first case of Coronavirus hit the country.
Nigerians wearing face mask since the first case of Coronavirus hit the country.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Tuesday shared on Twitter that barrier masks are not supposed to be used in healthcare settings or by healthcare professionals.

“Barrier masks are not intended for use in healthcare settings or by healthcare professionals. They serve to limit the spread of droplets and offer some measure of protection to those around you,” the tweet read.

Barrier masks or non-medical masks according to NAFDAC “do not prevent you from contracting #COVID19 but, they have been found to contribute to reducing the spread of infections when used widely with other preventive measures.”

Self-made or commercial masks or face covers made of cloth (textile fabric), non-woven wadding or paper-like materials all fall under the category of non-medical masks.

Though polyester, linen, or knit fabric can be used, the agency recommends 100 per cent cotton.

They also recommended that the non-medical masks be washed daily and “preferably should be a double layer of fabric to increase the absorbency and effectiveness.”

It was also noted that frequent washes, drying and stretching of the masks over time wear off its effectiveness.

President Muhammadu Buhari while addressing the nation on Monday highlighted measures that citizens must follow when the lockdown is relaxed, which includes a curfew from 8:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. (excluding essential services), the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public, and efficient practice of physical distancing and personal hygiene.

Although the lockdown will be relaxed from May 4, restrictions on social and religious gatherings remain in place.

The president also appealed to state governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), there are now 1,532 confirmed cases in Nigeria, 255 recoveries and 44 deaths.


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