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AfricaCorona Virus

Covid-19: It’s harmful to pick up face masks for recycling – FG

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 has said that it is harmful to pick up face masks for recycling from dump site as it’s Nigerians responsibilities to be self-educated and to educate others as citizens have a duty to collaborate with government by shunning risks and actions capable of jeopardizing the protection provided.

The Secretary to the Government of Federation and Chairman of Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha disclosed this at the National Press Conference on Tuesday in Abuja, he said the PTF has become aware of the on-going practice of sharing masks and picking of masks for recycling from dump sites. According to him, “This places a lot of responsibilities on all of us to be self-educated and to educate others.

The following points are emphasized:With the exception of fabric masks, every disposable used mask is ahazardous medical waste and should be disposed of properly, preferably by burning; It is very risky to share masks as the virus is capable of remaining on surfaces for several hours and you could get infected. “The unhealthy practice of picking up disposed masks for whatever purpose is harmful to both the individual picking it and whoever procures it later. Particularly, it will be helpful for high risk people such as the elderly and those with comorbidities, to wear masks or face covering and avoid crowded places”, he said.

He asked Nigerians to keep grandchildren away from their grandparents to avoid any transmission. “Most importantly, emphatically say no to stigmatization. Let me say once more that the primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives and property of all citizens. “On the other hand, citizens have a duty to collaborate with government by shunning risks and actions capable of jeopardizing the protection provided. We shall continue to put in place strategies and measures targeted at flattening the curve of this coronavirus while at the same time urging and persuading you to comply”, he said. He urged State governments to align their actions and enforcement with the guidelines provided. “The virus does not respect boundaries neither does it respect status.

All State Governments are therefore urged to strengthen their monitoring and enforcement machineries in collaboration with the security agencies. Let me emphasize that we have seen visuals on the social media depicting total disregard for physical distancing in some locations. This is a dangerous journey towards uninhibited spread if not checked”, he said. Furthermore, he said PTF is consulting with the authorities of the identified areas to review their strategies. “You will recall that the guidelines on the reopening of offices directed the management of such offices to take certain steps and put in place policies that would ensure the safety of their staff.

“Let me remind the leadership of various offices to make such provisions including infra-red temperature guns at entrances, sanitizers, handwashing facilities, social distancing arrangements and ensuring that masks are worn always. This is particularly critical for government offices in high concentration areas such as the Federal Secretariat complex. We similarly admonish individual staff to cultivate the habit of personal safety first, before depending on the general provision”, he said.

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