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General News of Saturday, 27 June 2020


Complement face shield with mask – Dr Nsiah-Asare advises MPs

Dr. Annthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Advisor Dr. Annthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Advisor

The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare has cautioned against over-reliance on face shield as a guard against coronavirus.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare, a former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service said face shields which were increasingly being patronised as protection against the virus did not on its own give the needed protection against the disease.

Briefing Parliament’s Committee of the Whole yesterday in Accra on the dynamics of the coronavirus in Ghana, Dr. Nsiah-Asare said the face shields must be complemented with face masks.

“If you wear face shield alone and you are debating all the droplets will be dropping on the table and if you are positive, anybody can pick the virus if he or she touches that surface.

“As much as practicable, I will entreat Honourable Members that if you want to wear the shield and you are in the House debating, please put on a mask.

“Mask is a must. If you wear the mask and wash your hands under running water and you keep a distance, you are most unlikely to contract the virus,” he stated.

The virus, Dr Nsiah-Asare said does not move until humans moved with it.

“The virus is just in front of your door so if you are moving out, please put on your mask and try as much as possible to keep the social distance,” he counseled.

He said the disease was fast spreading among the communities and that all must join in the fight against the respiratory infection.

“It is a fight we must all join. We now have local transmission so it is in the community and as Members of Parliament; I believe that you are the right people to assist in the fight in your various constituencies.”

Responding to calls for mass testing, Dr. Nsiah-Asare said that could be counterproductive, saying “If you keep testing, it gives you a false hope and impression that you are free. So it is better when we want to do a test, we do a targeted one.”

Despite the World Health Organisation recommending that asymptomatic patients were unlikely to transmit the disease after 10 days, and could be discharged, Dr Nsiah-Asare said Ghana had not adopted that position ‘hook, line and sinker.’

He said the country was adhering to its local specific regulations, adding that asymptomatic patients were being discharged only after 14 days.