Despite the excessive variety of Coronavirus instances recorded in Lagos State each day and authorities’s cost to residents to put on their face masks with a view to curtail the unfold of the lethal virus, just a few residents now depart their houses with face coverings and fewer nonetheless put on them the best way they need to, stories KUNLE AKINRINADE.
IT is a chunk of loose-fitting layered disposable cloth referred to as face masks. However additionally it is a private protecting gear (PPE) really useful by well being consultants as a method of stopping the transmission of the lethal Coronavirus in any other case referred to as Covid-19.
Well being consultants say it protects the wearer from publicity to the virus via human droplets, significantly the saliva. Nevertheless, increasingly residents of Lagos are shunning using face masks regardless of threats by the state authorities to sanction defaulters.
On the graduation of the lockdown impelled by the outbreak of Covid-19 on March 30, there have been solely 131 confirmed instances of Covid-19 nationwide. However the determine has jumped to greater than 30,000 nationwide with Lagos State alone recording near 12,000.
At a number of markets and neighbourhoods visited by The Nation, it was noticed that buyers, motorists and commuters exhibited nearly full disregard for face masks, elevating doubts about the opportunity of discount within the variety of contaminated individuals within the state.
Why they shunned face masks
In an alarming twist to the pattern, some Lagos residents who spoke with our correspondent stated they don’t put on face masks as a result of they don’t consider within the existence of Covid-19 within the nation.
A grocery vendor at Dopemu Market, Agege, who recognized herself merely as Mrs Adams, stated ”there’s nothing like coronavirus in Lagos. That’s the reason I don’t cowl my face with masks.
She stated: “I not use face masks as a result of I don’t consider there’s Coronavirus within the nation. I’m saying this towards the revelation by many individuals purportedly contaminated who got here out of isolation and stated they had been handled with anti-malaria medication.
“The authorities too haven’t denied utilizing malaria medication to deal with Covid-19 sufferers. Even the Governor of Bauchi State just lately directed that contaminated individuals needs to be administered with malaria medication.
“So, whether it is malaria they’re treating as Covid-19 for causes finest identified to the authorities, why do I have to panic and put on masks round when malaria has at all times been with us?”
Femi Lasisi, a printer primarily based in Olorunshogo space of Mushin, a Lagos suburb, defined that he solely goes out in a face masks to keep away from being harassed by policemen who’ve been mandated to cope with offenders.
“I’ve by no means believed in covid19 as a result of it’s a hoax,” he stated.
“The illness may be prevalent in different international locations, however it’s definitely not in Nigeria as we’re being pressured to consider.
“I solely transfer round with a face masks in my hand to keep away from being harassed or arrested by the police for flouting the order concerning obligatory carrying of face masks.”
At Ile Epo Market in Agbado/Oke Odo Native Council Growth Space, some merchants had been seen with out face masks as they interacted with prospects.
Despite the cluster of shoppers he needed to haggle with on the market, a meat vendor recognized as Kamaldeen wore no face masks. Requested why he didn’t, he stated Coronavirus outbreak was nothing however a gimmick by some political leaders to siphon public funds.
Kamaldeen stated: “Because the starting of the so referred to as pandemic within the nation, the index instances haven’t ceased to extend whereas many people who aren’t carrying face masks haven’t fallen ailing for at some point.
“To me, due to this fact, the illness will not be in existence in Nigeria. Our political leaders are simply attempting to latch on to it with a view to siphon public funds.”
Our correspondent, who visited Ogba, Ojota and Agege axis of the state, additionally noticed so many individuals strolling about with out their face masks.
A commuter, Mrs Daniella Nwandu, advised The Nation that she would slightly observe the protocol of washing her arms than cowl her face with a masks.
She stated: “The masks will choke me if I put on it. I favor washing my arms or making use of sanitisers to carrying a face masks. I don’t need to choke myself-o. Furthermore, I haven’t seen anybody the so referred to as Covid-19 has killed.
“These we’re made to consider had been victims of Covid-19 may need died from completely different ailments solely. The Federal Authorities ought to simply cease deceiving us and permit the resumption of social actions within the nation.”
In part of Ojota the place chemical retailers and roadside markets are situated, many merchants and prospects had been seen going about their transactions with out adherence to using face masks and in complete
disregard for the principles of social distancing.
A person, who claimed to have come to the market from the Ikotun a part of Alimosho Native Authorities Space, insisted that the face masks order issued by each the federal and state governments was solely a smokescreen aimed toward overlaying up their inadequacies.
He stated: “Asking individuals to put on face masks is simply an try by our leaders to divert consideration away from themselves. The actual fact stays that what they’re diagnosing individuals with is acute malaria, judging by what we now have learn in a bit of the media.
“Two weeks in the past, I had malaria fever and visited a basic hospital in my neighbourhood solely to be advised to go to an isolation centre for Covid-19 sufferers. The medicals on the hospital refused to present me correct care regardless of my insistence that I needs to be attended to.
“As a substitute of going to isolation centre, I made a decision to go to a non-public hospital the place I used to be identified with acute malaria and I’m now hale and hearty. Subsequently, I don’t assume the figures being bandied because the variety of contaminated individuals are appropriate.
“It is for that reason that I’ve not been too happy with carrying the face masks. As you may see, I’m not carrying a face masks now, however I’ve a small bottle of sanitiser in my pocket.”
An itinerant ice cream vendor, Alfred Jebose, who spoke with our correspondent in Iyana Ipaja space of Lagos, stated he doesn’t consider that face overlaying is the answer to the unfold of the virus.
He stated: “You heard it when some individuals stated they lined their faces with masks and utilized different mandatory precautions however nonetheless examined optimistic for Covid-19. It implies that face overlaying will not be a treatment for the illness in any respect.
“If extreme malaria is what the western nations have contrived as Covid-19, undoubtedly a face masks can’t stop it. That’s the reason I neither consider in its existence nor put on a face masks as safety measure.
“I can’t cowl my face with any masks, as a result of it could have an effect on my respiration. In truth, it alters my inhaling such a approach that it turns into troublesome for me to breathe.
Medical practitioners converse on relevance of face masks
The Minister of Well being, Osagie Ehanire, says it will be important that Nigerians put on face masks in public locations with a view to shield themselves and others from contracting Covid-19.
Ehanire, who issued the recommendation throughout a current day by day Presidential Activity Drive (PTF) briefing, stated using face masks is one in every of finest types of private safety towards the virus.
He stated: An extra approach thought to guard towards corona an infection is using face masks, and it consists of improvised and home made face masks or face overlaying with handkerchiefs or scarves.
“A layered cotton cloth over the mouth and nostril guards towards particle emission throughout laughter, exclamation or loud discuss and will supply mutual safety to wearers, particularly the place social distancing is probably not achieved, or the place shut contact is probably not averted with certainty, equivalent to markets.
“Nevertheless, individuals with out the N95 or surgical masks might make use of home-made face masks, handkerchiefs or scarves. However they should be correctly washed with heat water and ironed to kill any virus that will have settled on the masks.”
The Nationwide Chairman of Scientific Pharmacists Affiliation of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Madu, just lately backed face overlaying, noting that the human face is a vital a part of the physique that’s uncovered to respiratory tract an infection from coronavirus.
“Identical to the widespread chilly virus or catarrh, this virus good points entry into the physique primarily via the respiratory system.
“The nostril kinds the start of the respiratory tract and goes via the throat all the way down to the wind pipe (trachea) after which into the lungs.
“The nostril, mouth, eyes and even the ears are all related, and no matter good points entry into them can lastly discover its approach into the lungs.
“Thus, touching the face with contaminated arms can simply result in respiratory problem and a extreme type of pneumonia referred to as COVID-19,” he stated
Additionally, the Lagos State Commissioner for Well being, Prof. Akin Abayomi, stated the carrying of face masks protects individuals round an contaminated individual.
“There may be some theoretical proof that the carrying of masks might certainly cut back the quantity of droplets within the surroundings from the person who is contaminated with COVID-19, and that’s the reason why we’re starting to outline the technique of face masks for the final neighborhood,” he stated.