Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have made their position known on the used of face mask as a prevention measure against corona virus.

Below are the five recommendations of the NCDC on face masks in the country:

1. The wearing of face masks, (or equivalent) is recommended as an optional
additional layer to be used in addition to other measures such as physical
distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene measures in Nigeria. The primary rationale for the advice on face masks is to prevent those who
are infected but asymptomatic from spreading the virus.

Masks have to be properly disposed of in waste bins. Improper handling and frequently touching masks can increase the risk of infection. Improvised masks are also an option – as long as they are properly washed regularly. They can
be made out of cloth or other materials.

2. The usage of face masks is particularly advised while attending large
gatherings (where it is absolutely necessary to attend). These include but
are not limited to shopping outlets, markets, shops and pharmacies among
others.

3. Given the global shortage of personal protective equipment including
medical masks, public sector resources should be preserved to procure
medical masks for patients and healthcare workers who need them the
most.

4. The wearing of face masks alone will not protect against COVID-19, but
must be combined with physical distancing, handwashing, respiratory
hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and other
advice from NCDC.

5. Older persons (> 60) with existing medical conditions such as diabetes
are particularly encouraged to wear masks as they are at higher risk
of infection. It is also further advised that face masks are used by more
vulnerable members of the society, citizens with ongoing respiratory
problems, and those already exhibiting symptoms and awaiting testing.