Abuja – The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that “Face masks are very important in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, especially in situations where physical distancing may be difficult, such as on public transportation, markets and in areas where there is a significant amount of community transmission but ”for effective protection, face shields should be used in combination with an appropriate face mask in healthcare settings.
This came as the NCDC said that Nigeria on Saturday recorded 779 new cases of COVID-19 as its total infections hit 24,077.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced this on its official Twitter handle.
NCDC said that the 684 new confirmed cases were reported in 22 states, with four deaths.
The health agency said that no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.
The NCDC said that Lagos reported the highest number of cases with 285 new cases and Rivers was second with 68 new infections.
Amongst others were FCT (60), Edo (60), Enugu (56), Delta (47), Ebonyi (42), Oyo (41), Kaduna (19), Ogun (18), Ondo (16), Imo (12), Sokoto (11), Borno (9) Nasarawa (8), Abia (5), Gombe (5), Kebbi (5), Kano (4), Yobe (3), Ekiti (3) and Osun (2).
The NCDC said that till date, 24,077 cases have been confirmed, 14, 115 active, 8,625 treated and discharged, 127, 158 samples collected and 558 deaths recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC offered the following guidance to Nigerians on the appropriate use of face masks and face shields:
“Face masks are very important in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, especially in situations where physical distancing may be difficult, such as on public transportation, markets and in areas where there is a significant amount of community transmission.
”For effective protection, face shields are used in combination with an appropriate face mask in healthcare settings.
”There is currently limited to no evidence on the effectiveness of face shields to prevent COVID-19 when used alone by the general public in non-healthcare settings.
”There is currently no guidance provided by the WHO or other relevant public health authority that recommends the use of face shields in non-healthcare settings to prevent COVID-19,” it said.
The health agency said that given the limited evidence on the effectiveness of face shields in protecting people from COVID-19 infection in community settings, and the absence of recommendations on their use, by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and other public health authorities, face shields alone should not be used in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
It said that when used, it should be done in combination with an appropriate face mask.
The agency said that it was important to remember that currently, no single intervention even when properly used, provides complete protection from COVID-19 infection.
NCDC said, therefore, that the use of face masks or face shields with face masks should be combined with other public health and social measures as announced by the Federal/State Ministries of Health and the NCDC .
“This includes maintaining a distance of two metres between you and the next person, frequent handwashing with soap and running water or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoiding public gatherings.
”The NCDC will continue to update its recommendations as knowledge about COVID-19 evolves,” it said. (NAN)