COVID-19: Expert wants northern leaders to enforce use of face masks

Dr Saeed Muhammad, member, Kaduna State Committee on COVID-19, has called on northern leaders to enforce the use of face masks in the zone to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Muhammad made the call in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Kaduna.


He added that face masks had been identified as one of the most significant measures to contain the spread of the virus.
According to him, the northern zone must be very cautious about the rising cases of the pandemic being reported daily, especially from the axis.
He noted that the region was already heavily populated, with its nutritional status suffering backwardness and health facilities grossly insufficient.
“The equipment and the personnel in the facilities are not enough to cater for the high population, hence the need to take extra preventive measures against the spread of the pandemic,” he added.
Muhammad urged people to be realistic with the situation and use face masks, no matter the inconveniences it might cause them, especially those with low immune systems and those suffering from other health complications.
“With the high records daily reported within the communities, the very possible way of containing the virus in the North is in the use of face masks.
“People should wear face masks that do not compress their nose so that they do not experience difficulties in breathing.
“When an infected person comes in close contact with the non-infected ones who are not wearing face masks and he coughs or sneezes, the virus has the potential of staying about 45 minutes in the air.
“The tendency of inhaling the virus by other people is high,” he said.
Muhammad put the possibility of getting infected by the virus, if not wearing face mask at 70 percent, with those wearing face masks having just 1.5 percent chances of getting infected.
“Eighty percent of the many infected with the virus get better due to their strong immune systems.
“Only about 20 percent of those infected become very sick due to the other ailments they suffer from,” he stressed.
On the activities committee, Muhammad said that the centers for testing coronavirus had been increased to three in Kaduna, the state capital.
“There is one at ABUTH (Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital), one in the metropolis and the third is being put up at Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital,” he said.
According to him, the committee meets on daily basis with other sub-committees to report the activities and challenges, and make recommendations on possible ways of curbing the pandemic in the state.
“It is one of these recommendations that informed Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s decision to issue directive on compulsory use of face masks by residents to contain the spread of the virus in the state,” he said. (NAN)

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