The Ghana Medical Association(GMA) together with the Ghana Chapter of the West African College of Surgeons(WACS) have raised red flags over the increasing number of Ghanaians wearing face shields without masks.
According to a joint statement issued by the two Associations the increasing use of the face shields without masks as protection against COVID-I9 is very dangerous and will increase the spread of the virus in the country.
The statement which was signed by Dr. Frank Ankobea, President of GMA and Prof. Peter Donkor, 1st Vice-President and Country Representative, West African College of Surgeons states:
“This is a very dangerous trend that must be discontinued by the general public with immediate effect. Continuous use of Face Shields without mask by the general public will lead to increased cases of COVID-19 in the country”.
The Associations advised the public to wear masks at all times to protect them from being infected by the coronavirus disease. It said that the use of Face Shields alone (without a face mask) does not give the user the needed protection against COVID-19 especially in the light of potential air borne spread of the virus from emerging scientific evidence.
The Association entreated the general public to disregard these social media report.
“There have been unsubstantiated reports on some social media platforms about a decrease in blood oxygen concentration as well as a buildup of carbon dioxide when one uses a mask. As Medical Doctors (especially Surgeons), we wear face masks all the time in the course of work and no such derangements have been observed”.
They called for the rigorous enforcement of the “No mask-No entry” policy nationwide to contain the spread of the virus.
The statement maintained that a face shield is NOT a mask, and the use of it without mask should not be encouraged and must be stopped.
Face shields protect against splashes, and may be added to a mask. Face shields should not be used as a replacement for masks in protecting one against COVID-19.