Amidst a global frenzy to stock up on face masks resulting in shortages in parts of the world, local authorities on advice from the World Health Organisation/Pan American Health Organisation is advising against its use as a protective measure against the coronavirus.
Dominica’s Epidemiologist, Dr Ahmed Shalauddin, says the masks could make the public more susceptible to the illness and should be left to the frontline professionals.
“WHO and PAHO recommendations are that the general public should not wear the masks,” he said. “There is a false sense of security in the masks; you think that you put the mask on and you are safe but actually, it makes you [aware] of it and you will fix the mask more often and in the process touch your face and contaminate yourself.
“It is recommended that the health professionals who deal with the patients wear them. The recommendation is that the N95 masks is preferred especially for the frontline workers and healthcare professionals,” Dr Shalauddin says.