The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that using only the face masks is not a cure for or a strategy to curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recalled that Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, had said recently that one doesn’t need social distancing with a face mask on.
The governor’s position was in contrast with the advice given by the NCDC and the World Health Organisation on the need for all to observe social distancing as an effective way of curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the warning at the ninth joint national briefing of the Presidential Taskforce Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
Ihekweazu said that instead of maintaining the ‘social distance’, it is better to keep ‘physical distance’ of two metres, as this plays a critical role in reducing the spread considering that the country is among the most densely populated.
“Even when we announce our decision on mask, the masks are not going to solve the problem. So, there have been some messages around the country seeming to imply that wearing a mask makes all the other measures no longer necessary. This is simply not the case.
“If we do offer an advisory around masks, it will be in addition to everything else; it will not be in place of it. So, we have to understand the reasons for these measures.”
The NCDC boss said that it is the citizens’ closeness to each other that enables the virus to transmit from one to another and that physical distancing is the most important.