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COVID- 19: Local experts echo calls for public to use cloth masks

As the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country keeps rising so too are fears that health workers might run out of personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Local medical experts have echoed calls for the public to make use of cloth masks.

As the number of confirmed the coronavirus infections in the country keeps rising so too are fears that health workers might run out of personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.

Twelve people in the country died, while the coronavirus has sickened 1,686 others.

When people cough, sneeze, laugh and talk they expel respiratory droplets.

Professor in Family Medicine at Wits University, Professor Shabir Moosa, recommends that with the coronavirus present in society, everybody should wear a fabric mask.

“We think that everyone should wear a mask so that those are symptomatic and presymptomatic will not transmit to someone else. So, the mask is not to protect yourself, it’s to protect other people. So, if everyone is wearing a mask, then we are protecting each other. So, that is the effect.”

Pulmonologist and critical care specialist, Professor Keertan Dheda, adds all other COVID-19 preventative measures should still be practiced.

“You need to remember the other elements; social distances, self-hygiene, self-isolation, so it’s a package. The mask on itself is not enough.”

These experts reiterate that medical masks must be reserved for healthcare workers.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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