PETALING JAYA: Most Malaysians are wearing face masks in public during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period, says Datuk Dr Amar-Singh HSS.
The senior consultant paediatrician at a hospital in Ipoh said that, 95% of Malaysians were wearing face masks in public.
Dr Amar-Singh made his observation by watching images and videos of the public posted on May 4 on mainstream media and social media, of which 355 individuals can be seen clearly and analysed.
“While it is encouraging that the vast majority – 95% – had masks on; 3% did not use them correctly and another 3% were touching the outer surface of the mask, ” he said.
He added that 68% used the three-ply surgical or disposable masks, but noted that this should be of concern.
“While three-ply surgical masks are more protective than cloth masks, they do not last as long – usually lasting between one and two hours – and once damp need to be changed.
“Excessive use by the general public of surgical masks will also deplete an important resource for healthcare professionals (HCPs), ” he said. Some Malaysians were also leaving their nose exposed while wearing a mask, which Dr Amar said defeated the purpose of wearing a mask.
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The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) stance on masks was that it was “critical” that N95 respirators and surgical face masks be prioritised for the use of medical and healthcare workers.
The organisation also recommended face masks to be used by individuals showing symptoms of Covid-19 and caregivers or those sharing a living space with individuals with Covid-19 symptoms.
WHO also urged those who show symptoms of Covid-19 to self-isolate.
The Health Ministry strongly encourages the use of face masks when out in a public setting.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that apart from wearing face masks in public, Malaysians should also maintain social distancing of one metre from each other and to observe good personal hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing.
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