Zweli Mkhize says this is in addition to hand-washing and physical distancing. But, he’s also urged the public to ensure that N95 masks and surgical masks are left for workers who really need them. The Minister recommends that cloth face-masks should be used by the general population.
Mkhize says that he is “satisfied that there is sufficient scientific evidence to show that the cloth face mask significantly reduces the amount of virus that can be emitted.
It is nevertheless important to observe basic rules of the use of cloth face masks to ensure that they are safe for use.”
The official guidelines are that:
• The face-mask must cover the nose and mouth completely
• Face-masks should not be lowered when speaking, coughing or sneezing
• Face-masks should never be touched – fidgeting with the mask repeatedly is strongly discouraged as it is important to avoid touching the face with hands
The inner side of the mask should not be touched by hands
• Wash hands before and after donning or removing the face-mask
• Wash cloth face-masks with warm soapy water and iron when dry. Ironing assists with decontamination
• Change your cloth face mask if it is wet or visibly soiled
• Each person will need to have at least 2 face-masks so that one face-mask is available when the other is being washed