News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
31 Mar 2020
5:40 pm

Wearing masks inappropriately puts you at greater risk – health dept

News24 Wire

This also includes face shields, aprons, goggles and gloves.

A member of hotel staff wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, checks the temperature of South Africa's cricket player Quinton de Kock, upon his arrival at a hotel in Kolkata on March 16, 2020. - India called off its two remaining one-day cricket internationals against a visiting South Africa side amid mounting anxiety in India over the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

The Gauteng Department of Health has warned people not to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), like masks, “inappropriately”, saying it places them at greater risk.

This also includes face shields, aprons, goggles and gloves.

“PPE is costly and should be used responsibly,” department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said on Tuesday.

The department reminded the public not to wear protective gear if a person does not feel sick or when taking care of people, especially those with respiratory problems.

The department added that those who wear such protective equipment unnecessarily put themselves at risk of further spreading the virus.

“People who wear masks and gloves when they don’t need to, end up fiddling and touching their faces, thus transferring whatever infection from surfaces to their face. This leads to the further spreading of the virus,” Kekana explained.


The health department further reiterated that PPE clothing was only necessary when in direct contact with or looking after a person who is a confirmed/suspected case of Covid-19, or if you yourself have respiratory symptoms.

The department said the best way for people to protect themselves from the deadly novel coronavirus was to adhere to hygiene guidelines.

“Regularly wash your hands [with soap] for at least 20 seconds at a time, use an alcohol-based hand rub [sanitiser], cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, avoid close contact with anyone with cold- or flu-like symptoms, keep 1.5 metres from people in public spaces and seek help when you are not feeling well,” Kekana said.

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