You don’t need a face mask routine, as many people make it seem except if you are coughing and sneezing, just to prevent possible spread of the virus by the infected ones.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, made the appeal on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He was reacting to the reports of the hike in the price of face masks and hand sanitizers among other PPE, following the first case of coronavirus recorded in the country.
Mamora said, “You see, the face mask that people are struggling to buy, I tell you it’s not very necessary where you don’t have a candidate (I won’t say a patient now) that is not manifesting symptoms – sneezing.”
“The face mask is really meant for a person who is sneezing, coughing, and wanting to protect others around him/her.
“That is what the face mask is for, and for people who are in caregiving centres. These are the people that need face masks. People should not allow themselves to be exploited unduly,” he added.
The Nigerian government had confirmed the first case of coronavirus on Friday, involving an Italian citizen who arrived in the country for a brief business visit on Tuesday.
The patient was said to have travelled to Ogun State where he took ill and reported at a hospital but tested negative to malaria.
He was later referred to the testing centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where he tested positive to coronavirus.
Giving an update on the Italian’s condition, Mamora revealed that about 157 passengers were on the plane in which the patient travelled.
He added that the government has traced six people the Italian had contact with at the hotel where he lodged in Lagos and 34 others at Lafarge cement plant in Ogun.
“So, put together, about 100 contacts have been identified and being followed up through what we call Supervised Self Isolation,” the minister revealed.
He explained that the contacts were asked to stay at home while they were being monitored and visited by health officials to prevent further spread of the virus should they come up with any suspicious symptoms.
Mamora also urged the people to desist from panic buying of PPE and not allow themselves to be exploited by those taking advantage of the situation.
“People rushing to buy face masks is totally unnecessary. You don’t need face masks routinely to just use as people are making it seem.