The Health Ministry has come out to discourage the use of
the face shields as an alternative to face masks.
The Ministry of Health has recently noted the increasing
numbers of Ugandans using face shields instead of face masks as a preventive
measure against Covid-19, says the minister, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu.
According to the minister, face shields give limited protection
to the nose and mouth yet the virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth
or nose in small liquid particles when they cough.
They also leave a lot of uncovered space around these areas
enabling some droplets and aerosols (airborne particles that are thinner than
droplets) to reach them.
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However, the face masks protect individuals by
preventing the droplets to from landing onto their lips and nose, the major
areas through which the Covid-19 virus enters the body.
Masks also prevent infected persons from dispersing virus
laden droplets as they talk, cough or sneeze and in so doing they protect
others near them.
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The minister says that in case a person uses the face shield, they should also
put a face mask as an addition protection says the minister.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak early this year 2020, the
Ministry of Health issued the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to all
Ugandans should follow to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and putting on
face mask was one of them.
The Ministry also issued the guidelines for the use of
facemasks which included the type of face masks to be used by the public.
The community is encouraged to use non-medical masks (made
out of fabrics e.g. cotton masks and also the medical masks which include; N95,
KN95 and surgical masks.
A 2 layered cotton masks with a filter material e.g. paper towel
or coffee filter or polypropylene (the material often used for non-plastic
shopping bags placed between the 2 layers may improve the mask and it is also
washable and reusable.