No Face Mask No Entry; WHO condemns the wearing of masks in public to defeat President Akufo-Addo’s declaration
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revised its decision on people wearing face masks in public after assessing fresh evidence on the dynamism of the pandemic.
According to the organisation, the wearing of nose masks risk the wearer and increase his or her chances of getting the virus.
It stated that healthy people only needed to wear a mask when taking care of a person with COVID-19.
WHO acknowledged that the virus spread among people but explained that it spreads via droplets or contaminated surfaces, which physical distancing and hand washing were intended to minimise.
According to the updated advice, people with coronavirus symptoms could wear a face mask, self-isolate and seek medical advice as soon as they start feeling unwell.
David Heymann, the Chairman for WHO Scientific and Technical Advisory Group For Infectious Hazards who is also from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that the use of mask could be recommended for only those working in healthcare settings, saying they should wear it when they are in the same room with the patients.
“Masks are only for the protection of others, not for the protection of oneself,” he added.
Mr Heymann further stated that masks become effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, adding that “if you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly because single use of mask is not advisable.”
He bemoaned that the used of masks could create a false sense of security that could end up putting people at greater risk.
“Even with the mouth and nose fully covered, the virus can still enter through the eyes,” Mr Heymann cried.
He established that healthcare workers, in addition to the masks, wear visors to protect the eyes, stressing that the wearing of masks was not a protection and should not be encouraged.
The WHO guidance on healthy people wearing masks in public appears to conflict with government’s declaration that public should wear cloth face coverings in vehicles, groceries and other public places where physical distancing could be hard to maintain.
There was no doubt that WHO earlier position on masks wearing was in light of data from Asia indicating that their widespread use in the community might have reduced the spread of coronavirus in some regions but realised that there was no empirical evidence backing the claims.
The wearing of masks became necessary in Ghana, after the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo suspended the restrictions on movements last Sunday.
The decision was made after a three-week lockdown in parts of Greater Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas and its contingent districts.
In order for people to oblige by the nose masks rules in Accra, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in a press statement instituted a policy for drivers to ensure passengers wear face masks before boarding vehicles.
It said the mandatory used of face masks was crucial, adding that “No Face Masks no Entry” should be displayed at vantage points at bus terminals, offices, streets, grocery shops among others.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE