A Medical Laboratory Scientist, Mr Michael Idoko, has described the inappropriate wearing of face mask for protection against the COVID-19 infection as “hazardous”.
Idoko, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Thursday, urged Nigerians to adopt the right method of wearing the face mask in spite of seeming inconveniences
He advised Nigerians to take personal responsibility to ensure that their face masks actually served them as the barrier against community transmission of COVID-19.
He explained that the ideal and appropriate way of wearing a face mask is to wear it over the mouth and the nose when in public places, especially when talking to somebody.
According to the scientist, the air breathed in is filtered through the face mask.
Idoko noted that the pathogens were retained within the mask and not discharged into the atmosphere in the event of breathing out, talking, sneezing or coughing.
He criticised the current practice whereby most people wore or dragged their face masks down to their chin, saying that others wore it to cover only the mouth.
Idoko explained that when these masks were dragged to the chin and then periodically pulled to cover the mouth and nose, a lot of microorganisms get dragged from the chin through the lips and on the nostrils, saying this act led to infection.
He further explained that when face masks were dragged with filthy or soiled hands across the face, germs were introduced on them and the chances of transmission of infection were increased.
The scientist noted that the right approach to the use of face masks was to wash your hands with soap or sanitise with alcohol-based sanitiser before donning the mask and ensured that it covered the mouth and the nose.
He also advised that people should avoid touching the mask with their hands regularly.
Idoko said that surgical masks could not be re-used, saying that it should be discarded after single use while cloth masks could be washed, dried, ironed and re-used.
According to him, face masks made of cotton are most preferred because it is easier to breathe through them. (NAN)