Why Sri Lanka does not advocate masks yet: touching it can get you Coronavirus
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s is not yet advising the public to wear masks but is asking to wash hands and not to touch the mouth nose or eyes and maintain distance of at least one meter from the next person instead.
Paba Palihawadana, a doctor at Sri Lanka’s Health Promotion Bureau says many people are wearing surgical masks incorrectly.
Sri Lanka is advising people to wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap, or use sanitizer if available and maintain distance.
“If you touch the mask or remove it to speak and push it back, the germs in your hand will get to your mouth,” warns Palihawadana.
‘It is not easy to wear a mask for a long time in a way that is sanitary for an ordinary person.
Most people buy surgical masks available in pharmacies and put them on touching covering with their hands.
They then remove it to speak and put the back, conveying germs to the face from the hand.
Some also re-use disposable masks. However people with any respiratory conditions are asked by many countries to wear a mask to protect other people from flying droplets.
“Surgical masks are for use by hospital staff,” Palihawadana said. “At the moment we do not advocate wearing mask for day to day work.
When there is active community transmission in the field, the health ministry will make an announcement, Palihawadana said. (Colombo/Mar25/2020)
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies