The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said the use of non-medical face masks, which include self-made or commercial masks or face covers made of clothes, only reduce and not prevent the spread of diseases.
The agency in a statement released today said face masks made with cotton materials are more effective. The statement in part reads
Non-medical face masks include self-made or commercial masks or face covers made of cloth, other textiles or other materials such as paper. They are not standardized and are not intended for use in healthcare settings or by healthcare professionals.
They serve to limit the spread of droplets and offer some measure of protection to those around you.
The material of construction is usually cloth(textile fabric), non-woven wadding, or paper-like materials. For these Barrier Masks, 100% cotton is preferred though, polyester, linen or knit fabric can be used.
Simple test: If the wearer can put off a flame from a cigarette lighter that is placed in front of the wearer, the mask is protective enough
Barrier face masks do not prevent you from contracting the disease but, they have been found to contribute to reducing the spread of infections when used widely in conjunction with other measures. Such measures include social distancing, not touching the face, eyes or mouth, washing of hands with soap for 20 secs, or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
These face masks are recommended to be washed daily and preferably should be a double layer of fabric to increase the absorbency and effectiveness.
It must be noted that several washes, drying and stretching of the mask over time reduce the effectiveness of the mask.” the statement read
The agency came out with clarification as different state governments and the Federal government has announced the compulsory use of face mask as the nation continues to fight against the spread of COVID-19.