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General News of Friday, 24 April 2020

Source: Prime News Ghana

Coronavirus: FDA begins surveillance to get rid of substandard face masks

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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has begun surveillance to get rid of substandard face masks on the market.

It comes after the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council in a statement released yesterday April 23, 2020, made the wearing of face masks mandatory as parts of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in the region.

Commenting on the development in an interview today, head of medical devices department of the FDA Joseph Bennie indicated that: ''We will continue with our market surveillance activities and throughout the nation. We had reports from our regional offices and per the directives that were given we will get rid of all nose masks that do not meet FDA’s specifications.’’

Mr. Bennie also stated some of the specifications required by the FDA to ensure the masks provide adequate protection.

''Some are of the principle that a bad nose mask is better than no nose mask. In some conditions, it might be okay, but in the current situation, you need to be properly protected. So, if you’re protecting yourself with the nose mask, we are saying that if it's locally made our specifications are that it should be made of three (3) layers and the three layers should be made of a fabric that has no chemicals in it. When we say there are no chemicals, we are talking about materials that are not printed’’.

He further stated that: "Materials that have been dyed or coloured have chemicals in them. The idea is that once you put these over your nose for a period of time, you are breathing in chemicals and the consequences we may not be able to tell now."

"So, the three layers should be plain. In any event that anybody wants to use printed material, it’s the outer layer that alone that may under circumstances we can use the printed materials. But ideally, we would have preferred that all the 3 layers are without materials that contain chemicals’’.

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