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Reusable cloth masks won’t prevent COVID-19, MoH and KEBS warn

By Brian George | April 9th 2020
Cloth mask.

Cloth masks will not guarantee protection from Covid-19, Ministry of Health has advised.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) together with the Ministry of Health, on Thursday, gave directions that only wearing surgical masks could help prevent Covid-19, following the government’s requirements that individuals going to public places must wear facemasks.

Additionally, the Standardization body said that currently, no Kenyan standardization exists for woven masks, insisting that cloth coverings made of woven fabrics may offer limited protection against droplets.

“However, the general public must take caution that such cloth coverings do not guarantee protection against COVID-19. Members of the public are advised to wash the re-usable Face Masks with soap and water before use,” a joint press release by the Ministry of Health and KEBS read in part.

Further, KEBS said that health caregivers and patients in medical facilities are advised to use masks that have been certified by KEBS.

“Kindly note that there is a limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPE’s) for health workers including surgical masks and N-95 respirators. The general public is encouraged to leave these masks to the healthcare workers and the patients,” the KEBS press release read.

KEBS also said that filtering face masks that protect against dust are now available for use.  These types of masks are designed to meet the requirements of respiratory protective devices to protect against particles.

With the number of Coronavirus positive patients at 179, it is now mandatory for all to put on masks to prevent further possible spread.


Keywords: KEBS, MoH, Surgical Masks, Cloth Masks

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