How to Properly Handle Your Face Mask to Avoid Infecting Yourself With Covid-19 [VIDEO]

  • Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (front) with Ministry of Health director-general Dr. Patrick Amoth at a press briefing on April 2, 2020.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (front) with Ministry of Health director-general Dr. Patrick Amoth at a press briefing on April 2, 2020.
    Citizen Digital
  • With all Kenyans now required to wear masks when visiting all public places, it is important to realize the need to properly handle the masks to avoid putting yourself at increased risk of contracting Covid-19.

    Face masks are designed to curb the spread of the virus by blocking the entry of small particles into the nose and mouth.

    In this article, Kenyans.co.ke breaks down recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to wear, handle and dispose of your face mask.

    Mandera Governor Ali Roba (centre) and members of the county's medical team are pictured at the Mandera County Referral Hospital on April 1, 2020.
    Mandera Governor Ali Roba (centre) and members of the county's medical team are pictured at the Mandera County Referral Hospital on April 1, 2020.
    Daily Nation

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is crucial to clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water before putting on your mask.

    It is also important to cover your mouth and nose completely with the mask and ensure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.

    One must also remember to avoid touching the mask when using it, particularly the front part.

    If you do touch it, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.

    Another crucial piece of information to remember is that when removing the mask, remove it from behind and do not touch the front part.

    This is important to avoid contaminating yourself with the virus because if, for instance, an infected person coughs or sneezes in your direction the droplets may land on the face mask.

    If you then touch the front part, you'll transfer the virus to your hand. If you subsequently touch your mouth or nose with the same hand, the virus will gain an entry point into your body.

    Another point to keep in mind is to replace the mask with a new one as soon as it becomes damp. The WHO also strongly advises against re-using single-use or disposable masks.

    On disposal of masks, it is important to discard the face mask into a closed bin immediately after removing it. Once you dispose of the mask, make a point of washing your hands with soap and clean water.

    In the daily press briefing on Covid-19 on Tuesday, April 7, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had urged Kenyans to comply with the directive first announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta requiring all Kenyans to wear face masks in public areas including open-air markets and supermarkets.

    In particular, Kagwe announced that they would shut down supermarkets found serving customers not wearing face masks.

    “We have health officers on the ground and if we get reports of supermarkets serving customers who are not in masks, we will not hesitate to close them,” he asserted.

    Watch a video from the WHO below on when and how to use masks to protect from Covid-19: