As most Kenyans are coming to terms with the news of the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in the country, hawkers in the city are making a kill selling gears many perceive will protect them from contracting the new virus.
As soon as Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced a Kenyan had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, streets in the Central Business District were flooded with hawkers vending especially face masks to Nairobians.
“Pata yako, pata yako wewe, kinga Corona,” chanted the hawkers excitedly as they sold the face masks.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned that only a personnel taking care of persons suspected to have been infected with the virus needed to wear a mask and not the healthy populace.
They also said you can also wear a face mask if you are coughing or sneezing to avert infecting others, but indicated that the masks are only effective when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based sanitiser or soap and water.
A mask is expected to be replaced immediately it gets damp and should not be re-used.
“If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water,” explained WHO.
“If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly. Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitiser or soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask and ensure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.”
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