As Rwandans return to normal lives, there is growing demand for face masks that are mandatory for whoever is considering mingling in public.
With the mandatory face mask directive issued by government as part of measures for preventing and stopping the spread of Covid-19, local fabricators have begun patching together all sorts of material and selling them as facemasks.
According to experts, most locally made facemasks are only fit for preventing people from dust particles and not the deadly corona virus.
The most common face masks on local market are those made from Kitenge fabric. A close analysis of these face masks shows that they are made of only one sheet of cloth. Experts say these cannot prevent the virus from spreading.
Experts advise that the local fabricators need to use two sheets of cloth and place a filter in between them and sew them together.
“When you sneeze, the virus mixed up in the saliva or mucus is introduced into the surrounding air and can remain active for almost 45minutes. The face mask should therefore cover your nose and mouth,” a medical doctor specialized in communicable diseases told Taarifa on condition of anonymity.
A face mask with single piece of cloth and with no filter does not prevent contaminated air from reaching the person wearing this mask.
This expert advises that there should be mechanisms of checking all face masks being locally made and sold on the market.
Another concern is there are also genuine masks on the market meant to be used only one and disposed- however, many people are using them repeatedly for many days.
For homes, offices and commercial buildings that operate air conditioning systems, experts argue that they are at high risk of suffering contamination should a person carrying Covid-19 be in the same building.
“It is advisable to open doors, windows and have more ventilation,” she says.