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COVID-19: Face mask must cover mouth and nose

Health and Child Care Deputy Minister John Mangwiro has raised concern over the manner in which most people are wearing their face masks which are meant to act as cover against getting infected with the contagious COVID-19 virus.

The face masks are supposed to cover both the mouth and the nose, but most Zimbabweans are only covering the mouth arguing that covering the nose will result in them failing to breathe.

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However, speaking in the Senate recently, the Deputy Minister of Health said the virus is airborne and can enter through mouth and nose and therefore there is need to cover both.

“May I take this opportunity to explain why we should put on these masks. What happens is, the virus can spread, just like I am talking. It can be airborne through talking or coughing. So the mask is supposed to cover the mouth and the nose; not just covering the chin.

“What also happens is, if I am COVID 19 positive, I become a carrier of the Coronavirus. So, by putting on this mask, I will not spread the virus as I speak or cough. As I speak right now, I see some noses that are not covered. I think we should start right here to educate people so that they understand,” he said.

Mangwiro added that his ministry was going to conduct awareness programs on the correct way of wearing masks on television and radio stations across the country.

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“We are going to have programs through radio and television to educate people. Also, I would like to talk to you Senators to be aware and educate people that the Coronavirus can be airborne. It can be spread by people through the air.

“I would like to urge everyone to put on those masks properly. As a Ministry, we have radio and television programs where we educate people,” he said.

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The Deputy Ministers sentiments comes at a time cases of COVID-19 are on an increase in Zimbabwe for both returnees and local transmission.

Zimbabwe now has over 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the returning citizens accounting for the large part of the statistics.

While work is on going in trying to find a cure or a vaccine to the deadly virus, health experts led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended wearing of masks when in public, washing hands with soap more often or with alcohol based sanitizers as well as social distancing. Get all COVID-19 statistics for Zimbabwe from COVID-TRACKER

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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