The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said that face masks made b of fabric cannot stop the spread of COVID-19.
Nigerians have been making face masks out of clothes especially as the required ones are not available or too expensive to buy. And as many states have made the use of face masks compulsory, many more people are making use of this window of opportunity to make masks at commercial quantities so as to sell.
NAFDAC who made this known on their Twitter handle, however said that it can slow it down. The agency urged Nigerians to perform a simple test to ascertain if the fabric masks are protective.
Even State governors like Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been sighted wearing fabric made face masks while addressing journalists.
The Twitter statement read in part, “Simple test: If wearer can put off a flame from a cigarette lighter that is placed in front of the wearer, the mask is protective enough.”
According to NAFDAC, “Barrier face masks do not prevent you from contracting disease but, they have been found to contribute to reduce spread of infections when used widely in conjunction with other measures. Such measures include social distancing, not touching the face, eyes or mouth, washing of hands with soap for 20 secs or use of alcohol based hand sanitizers.”
These are not bra’s, they’re face masks too.
The statement further said that non-medical masks are not authorized for use in health settings or by medical professionals.
“They serve to limit spread of droplets and offer some measure of protection to those around you. The material of construction is usually cloth(textile fabric), non-woven wadding, or paper-like materials. For these Barrier Masks, 100% cotton is preferred though, polyester, linen or knit fabric can be used.
“These face masks are recommended to be washed daily and preferably should be a double layer of fabric to increase the absorbency and effectiveness. It must be noted that several washes, drying and stretching of the mask over time reduce the effectiveness of the mask,” the statement read in part.
The agency chose to clear the air in the wake of the decision of state governments to enforce the compulsory use of face masks in order to curtail the spread of the ravaging pandemic in Nigeria.