Kenya Red Cross warns public against buying masks on the streets
The Kenya Red Cross on Saturday warned the public and distanced itself against masks that are being distributed at bus stops in the wake of the Coronavirus.
Those who are selling them claim they offer protection from Covid-19 and that it was a campaign initiated by Kenya Red Cross.
“Our attention has been drawn to reports that persons purporting to be Kenya Red Cross Society staff are distributing masks in public service bus stops claiming that such masks will protect them from contracting the Coronavirus,” a statement read.
The society said that there are no campaigns on the table and urged Kenyans to be vigilant to avoid such con games.
“We would like to advise members of the public that the Kenya Red Cross is not and has no plans of carrying out such distribution,” the statement added.
Advisory on persons conning members of public in the name of Kenya Red Cross Society staff. pic.twitter.com/F5yDn0i7OU
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) March 21, 2020
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), a person should only wear a mask if they are ill with Covid-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have Covid-19.
Disposable face mask can only be used once.
If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask.
There is a worldwide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks sparingly.
WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against Covid-19 are to frequently clean your hands with soap and water, covering your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintaining a distance of at least one meter (three feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
It is important to note that face masks have a specific lifespan. While some have longer lifespans or replaceable filters, the most common masks in the market are disposable and single-use.
If you are still committed to buying the masks, the three to choose from are N95, N99 and respiratory masks.
The N95 is the most practical as it protects from 95 per cent of air particles while the N99 offers 99 per cent protection. The downside, however, is that the mask cannot be worn for long as it is difficult to breathe through.
The respiratory masks are more expensive, making them a less attractive option for those working on a tight budget.