Consultant internist at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital Dr Chrisel Bovell-Chichester has issued a warning to residents who opt to reuse disposable masks for weeks on end.
Addressing the issue during an interview with BVI News recently, Dr Chichester said germs become easily transmitted when disposable masks are continuously reused.
“I see people wearing masks but I think they don’t understand the role of it because I see how it is worn. I see masks, especially reusable ones, and it is clear that those persons [wearing them] have used it consistently, probably for weeks on end. They are very dirty, and they are taking it off and putting it on the dashboards of their cars and those things. You are not being cognizant of what you are doing and the role of the mask,” she said, adding that the public must understand that their role in the continued fight against COVID-19 cannot be understated.
“I know we have the politicians, we have the physicians, we have all the persons in the health care field making all of these plans but without the support of the public doing their part, this falls flat,” Dr Chichester stated.
Wearing a mask isn’t all
While commending the public for complying with the government’s mandatory orders to wear masks, she said, “just wearing a mask isn’t all”.
“You have to not only understand how you use it but how you care for it. If it is a disposable one, when you take it off, you dispose of it and wash your hands.”
“You don’t take it off and crush it up in your hands with all of the secretions that would have gone from you breathing on it; then you pass it on to your child, your mom, or someone else. So I think the mask is certainly of great concern to me in terms of how persons are using it,” the physician explained.
She also said the territory must also move away from the notion that protective face masks are “something fashionable”.
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