|To wear or not to wear a face mask, remains a big question for many in Tanzania|
|The Tanzanian governmen said it has engaged an epidemiologist from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Prof. Japhet Killewo, as it seeks to come up with guidelines on how best to use face masks in preventing the spread of Coronavirus.|
To wear or not to wear a face mask, remains a big question for many in Tanzania and in other countries which do not have specific guidance on how and when to wear the mask, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Health, Communty Development, Gender, Elederly and Children, Ms. Ummy Mwalimu said a surveillance subcommittee of the COVID-19 Task Force is considering the plan on “mass masking” in the wake of the fast-spreading Coronavirus that has so far killed one person in Tanzania and left 20 people infected.
Ms. Mwalimu tweeted on Saturday April 4th saying, partly, that a subcommittee “will come up with proposals which will enable formulation of guidelines.”
The guidance of the World Health Organisation(WHO) earlier was “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection,” or “Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.”
However, as researchers continue questioning the WHO position, the public is asking: “Should more of us wear face masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus?”
According to a BBC report, this question is to be assessed by a panel of advisers from the WHO.
A study done in the United States earlier suggested that coughs can reach 6m and sneezes up to 8m. The panel that sits with WHO is expected to weigh up research on whether the virus can be projected further than previously thought.
There may be a shift in advice about masks, the panel’s chair, Prof. David Heymann, told BBC News.