The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has stated that face masks made from cloth can be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
The agency, however, advised Nigerians to carry out a test to ensure that such face masks are effective in protecting against the virus before using them.
The agency said, “Simple test: If wearer can put off a flame from a cigarette lighter that is placed in front of the wearer, the mask is protective enough.”
NAFDAC added: “Barrier face masks do not prevent you from contracting disease but, they have been found to contribute to reduce 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.”
NAFDAC further revealed that face masks from clothing materials are not allowed in healthcare settings or to be used by healthcare professionals.
“They serve to limit 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.
“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.”