CDC endorses use of cloth masks to block Covid-19

Saturday April 4 2020

Medical staff wearing protective clothing take

Medical staff wearing protective clothing take test samples for the COVID-19 coronavirus from a foreign passenger at a virus testing booth outside Incheon international airport, west of Seoul, on April 1, 2020. The first charter flight arranged by South Korean government to evacuate its citizens from coronavirus-hit Italy returned home with 309 citizens on April 1, amid the worsening virus outbreak in the European country. AFP photo  

By TONNY ABET

Kampala- The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended the use of cloth face coverings (masks) in public areas as experts discover new ways to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We now know from recent studies that [a] significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms,” a press release on the CDC website reads in part.

According the CDC, the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity such as speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.

“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies and in other areas of significant community-based transmission,” the statement reads.

This, CDC says should be done along with observing social distancing of four metres.

The simple cloth face coverings, according to the agency, will slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and are not aware, from transmitting it to others.

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CDC in the release, asked people to leave surgical masks for medical workers.

“Those (surgical masks) are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders,” CDC said.

Do it yourself

Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, according to medical experts at CDC.

Background

The recommendation comes at a time when the globe is experiencing massive shortage in essential supplies for fighting the disease, amidst frustrating number of deaths.

On Saturday, data from World Health Organisation showed that at least 59,401 people had so far died and confirmed cases stood at 1.1 million.

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