Face shield: A blessing or a curse?

It’s disheartening to see the gradual increase in the wearing of face shields instead of face masks. It seems some women( and some men) care more about their makeups than their health. Some people are now wearing face shields instead of face mask and are allowed entry into public places and we are wondering why COVID-19 cases are rising in Ghana?

Whoever is promoting the wearing of face shields in Ghana is not helping the Ghanaian society ( and the world) in our fight against the deadly COVID-19. This behavior is really disappointing, as it puts a hug hurdle on our way and breaks our spirit in our collective effort in the fight against COVID-19. Face shield is not a replacement for nose mask as it offers no protection against contacting the corona virus. The use of the face shield alone (without mask) is totally wrong and should not be allowed.

Yes, the plastic guards may be easier to wear, disinfect and reuse than cloth or surgical face masks, but they don’t entirely replace the need for masks. Face shields only cover the face and there are obvious gaps that are coming in from the sides and from top and from the bottom. 

They are not close to the mouth says Dr. Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious disease specialist at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Novena hospital. She further stated that “If you believe that a lot of the transmission is due to very small aerosols that are carried on air currents for extended periods of time, then obviously, the face shield will be less protective but masks is an additional protection”

They do impede the spilling out of droplets into the public, but they are not as close fitting to the face as a mask. If you want to protect others, the face shield should be adequate. It is not as good at preventing you from breathing in viral particles.

According to the Ghana Health Service ( GHS), face shields are not to be used as substitute for face masks. Rather, GHS says face shields are meant to complement face masks. Head of surveillance at the GHS, Dr. Asiedu Bekoe addressing the media at the information ministry says , face shields must be worn alongside face masks. He noted that, wearing face shields alone cannot help prevent the spread of corona virus.

Only some individuals with breathing difficulties such as asthma, lung disease and children two years and below are exempted from the wearing of both face shields and masks. 

Fellow Ghanaians, let’s do the right thing. In our national fight against COVID-19, either wear the face shield along with a nose mask or wear only the nose mask. Only our collective effort will overcome this pandemic.

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