NCDC DG, Ihekweazu NCDC speaks on use of face shields by Nigerians
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has asked Nigerians not to use face shields alone as protection against contracting COVID-19.
The centre added that there is no evidence to back the effectiveness of face shields when used alone to prevent COVID-19, adding that face shields are expected to be used alongside face masks for complete protection.
The centre in an advisory issued on Saturday, June 27 titled: Advisory on the Use of Face Shields With Face Masks by the General Public said the World Health Organization (WHO) has also not provided guidance on the sole use of face shields.
The advisory reads: “Following evolving evidence on the transmission of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided recommendations for the wearing of face masks by the general public.
This is especially important where there is ongoing widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as in public transport, markets, and confined or crowded environments. In Nigeria, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 mandated the use of face masks or coverings in public spaces, on the 27th of April 2020.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) published advisories on the use of face masks and guidance on making cloth masks. The use of face masks for COVID-19 prevention is important, as recent studies indicate that a significant proportion of people who have COVID-19 do not show symptoms (asymptomatic), and the virus can spread before these people know that they are sick (presymptomatic).
SARS-CoV-2 which causes the coronavirus disease, can spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, often through speaking, coughing or sneezing. There is evidence that the correct use of face masks reduces the risk of COVID19 infection.
“An increasing number of people in Nigeria are now using face shields, in the place of face masks, as they become more widely available. Face shields are generally used in healthcare settings by medical professionals to provide barrier protection to the facial area, including the eyes, nose and lips.
Even in healthcare settings, face shields are not meant to function as primary respiratory protection to prevent infection. Face shields are used in combination with surgical mask or N95 mask by health workers for maximum protection during invasive procedures such as intubation.
“There are no published studies on the effectiveness of face shields against COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings”.