In an attempt to protect themselves against contracting the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) many people have indirectly put themselves at a greater risk by inappropriately wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) would like to advice the general public on the appropriate usage of PPE, these includes surgical face masks, face shields, aprons, googles, gloves amongst other equipment that help protect against different types of risk. PPE are costly and should be used responsibly.
Members of the public have been seen in various settings wearing masks and gloves as a form of protection. If you are not sick, have no respiratory symptoms (cough and difficulty breathing) and you are not providing care to sick individuals or people with respiratory symptoms you do not need to wear a mask or gloves.
People who wear masks and gloves end up fiddling and touching their faces thus transferring whatever infection from surfaces to their face. This leads to the further spreading of the virus.
PPE clothing is only necessary if you are in direct contact with or are looking after a person who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 or if you have respiratory symptoms. This is part of standard Infection Prevention and Control measures aimed at curbing the spread of disease.
The best way people can protect themselves is to heed the advice given by health authorities and adhere to hand hygiene guidelines. Regularly wash your hands at least 20 seconds at a time using an alcohol-based hand rub, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze, avoid close contact with anyone with a cold or flu-like symptoms, keep at 1.5 metres from people in public spaces and seeking help when you are not feeling well.
We want to reiterate the importance of the public adhering to lockdown measures which were pronounced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on COVID-19 the public is encourage to contact the following numbers:
- Gauteng Provincial Government COVID-19 Hotline on 0800 Gauteng (4288364) or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- NICD Hotline on 0800 029 999
- Visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za
- Send a Hi message to the SA Government COVID-19 WhatsApp to number on 060 012 3456.