Misuse of face masks now a threat in the war against COVID-19

As confirmed today by the healthcare ministry, cases of the dreaded coronavirus have sharply escalated and are nearing the 500 mark. This is despite the introduction of stricter measures including wearing of face masks in public places to curtail further spread of COVID-19.

But as observed, these masks may ironically turn out to weaken the battle against the invincible virus. To begin with, unrestricted sales of masks has seen vendors display these commodities publicly with minimal care on hygienic standards required in handling the masks. A few reprobate guys have also been captured on camera washing and recycling disposable masks for resale. For a fact, such actions are weak chains that may prolong the reign of SARS-CoV-2.


While pointing out to face mask dealers, health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi has warned against allowing potential buyers to fit more than on3 mask. Mwangangi says that such a blunder has the potential of spreading COVID-19 to exponential levels.

“There are vendors who continue to allow people to fit more than one mask when buying. This is a dangerous practice which can lead to mass infection,” she cautioned.

Regarding the use of face masks, the general public has not been fully sensitized on how to correctly use this commodity. Surprisingly, we have a very huge proportion of Kenyans who use masks not to protect themselves, but to prevent arrests from the men at arms. It is also not uncommon to find Kenyans misusing masks by only covering the mouth and leaving out a potential entrance of corona virus in the nostrils.

Ministry of Health recommendations on how to correctly use face masks[Photo|courtesy]

This article will give 8 guidelines on how to correctly use a surgical face mask.

1). Before using your face mask, wash hands thoroughly using soap and water or sanitize your hand with an alcohol-based sanitizer.

2). Handle with care. Only touch the cords and never should you touch the part that covers your mouth and nose.

3). Ensure you cover both the nose and mouth in entirety. There is a perception that face masks interfere with our normal breathing which to me is a lame excuse. For a fact, no one has died by covering himself correctly.

4). When using masks that have cords, never should you criss-cross the cords at the back of your head.

5). Surgical masks should never be shared or reused. They are only meant for single use and should be well disposed after using.

6). When removing the mask, do so by beginning from the attachment place of the cords.

7). Carefully dispose of used face masks in a covered bin. This is meant to prevent issues of infected face masks flying across the streets.

8). Wash your hands or sanitize using alcohol-based hand rub after using masks.

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