COVID-19: Abuse of gloves, face mask increases danger
By Damilola Kushimo
A new dimension to the transmission of the pandemic COVID-19 has been revealed as the Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Dr. Baqiah Nojimudeen-Yesufu warned that abuse of gloves and carefree usage of face masks may increase the risk of contracting the dreaded Coronavirus.
Nojimudeen-Yesufu made this known during a chat with our correspondent, explaining that wearing gloves is not advisable as it gives the confidence to touch many things which are not supposed to be touched.
Although she informed that there has been about 70 per cent level of compliance by the members of the community with the mandatory usage of face mask, especially since the lockdown was eased, she emphasised that significant caution must be shown while putting on the mask in order to avoid contracting the virus unknowingly.
“Since last Monday, I can see that people are complying with the use of face masks and I can say the compliance is about 70 per cent. However, we should be careful about self-contamination because sometimes we wear the mask and use it wrongly. Even if you have washed it, you still have to be careful not to touch the outer part and the inner part where your nose and your mouth stay because you can self-contaminate yourself.”
She explained further that, ”If you wear one for a whole day it is best to wash it at the end of the day. You wash and iron. It is advisable that you have, at least, one per day so you can always interchange, to use one for each day. It is important we do not merely stop at washing them, we need to iron them, as well, if there is any left over bacterial infection on the face mask, the heat can also help to kill any bacterial or virus after washing.
“For those who are using the disposable mask, it should be thrown away after every usage meaning if you have the mask on for a whole day and you have to remove it for any reason; you are removing and discarding to wear a new one in order to avoid self-contamination.”
She stated that face mask is best used when in the company of more than one person and to be complemented with social distancing, warning that the best way to limit the risk of contamination is to stay indoors and avoid social engagement.
She said: “It is advisable if we can actually stay and work from home. If possible let us make use of that avenue because the rate of community transmission is alarming. And the number of people that are already available for testing makes it difficult to actually get test results on time.
“The best thing for us to do is to stay safe, even if the government has said we can go out, we should weigh the risk.”
She added: that it is not advisable to wear gloves because if people wear gloves they have the tendency and confidence to touch many things as much as possible, and in doing that, they can infect so many other people with their gloves.
« It is always advisable that we wash our hands from time to time. Wearing of hand gloves by nonprofessionals actually increases the risk of contamination than reducing it because you might be protecting your own hands but it is at the detriment of others who are not wearing hand gloves and in that manner, you are increasing the risk of infection. It is best to always wash your hands and use the sanitizer at all times.”