One of the key measures that has been outlined to help curb the spread of coronavirus in the country is the wearing of nose or face masks.
All over the world, some countries including South Korea, Germany and China have made it compulsory to wear a face mask whilst on public transport or out shopping.
This followed the relaxation of some restrictive measures imposed by various governments to deal with the threats of the disease.
The situation in Ghana is not different. The country’s confirmed COVID-19 case count currently stands at 2,719 with 18 deaths and 294 recoveries.
To address the alarming infection rate since the country recorded its first case on March 12, the Ministry of Health directed the compulsory wearing of nose masks.
The Ministry explained that the decision to make wearing nose masks mandatory was to protect individuals from COVID-19, which according to health experts, can be contracted through mouth droplets sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs, talks or sneezes.
Earlier, some health organisations around the world held that healthcare workers and other key frontline staff who may be exposed to coronavirus need nose or face masks to be able to carry out their jobs.
However, the US public health institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommended that even healthy people wear masks when leaving their homes to prevent the spread of the virus.
The main reason for members of the public wearing masks, particularly non-surgical masks, is to reduce the risk of passing coronavirus to someone else.
The Ministry of Health, in agreement with this assertion, asked people to use masks when they go out, as people who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic might not realise they are infected and spread the virus.
The Ghanaian Times believes that Ghana cannot win the fight against this ‘unknown enemy’ if citizens disregard precautionary measures including the wearing of nose masks.
That is why we applaud the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for taking the lead to enforce the mandatory wearing of nose masks in Accra from today.
It is critical that all other government agencies particularly, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) join in ensuring that nose masks wearing becomes a part of our lives now as we battle to win this ‘war’.
Thankfully, we have been given guidelines on how best to wear the nose masks to avoid contamination.
Included in the guidelines is that face masks should cover the face from the bridge of the nose to the chin, regular washing of hands with soap under running water and use of hand sanitiser before putting on or taking off a face mask.
Further to that, the guidelines noted that worn masks should be removed from behind and touching of its front avoided while masks should be safely disposed and hands washed or sanitised.
These guidelines, if strictly adhered to, in addition to other measures can become a game-changer in our efforts to contain the spread of the disease.
We hope that the enforcement of nose masks wearing directive would go a long way to compel all of us to wear the nose masks to protect ourselves and other members of the public from the virus.