GRAVE CONSEQUENCES

Educate citizens on mask disposal to beat coronavirus

Contaminated masks have started littering the streets where street families live

In Summary

• Most homemade masks don't have sealed protection hence are at risk of contamination by the handlers. 

• Masks should be treated as surgical waste with special disposal bins to protect other people who may routinely be in contact with the waste – for instance, cleaners. 

An improvised face mask.
HOW TO DISPOSE OF THEM: An improvised face mask.
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

The government is enforcing the wearing of face masks but is mute on their disposal procedure. Any sensible citizen would be worried about the careless manner in which contaminated masks are being disposed of.

Contaminated masks have started littering our streets and soon the street families will be coughing right on our faces. The masks should be treated as surgical waste with special disposal bins to protect other people who may routinely be in contact with the waste – for instance, cleaners and the growing street families who often rummage through the bins for a living. 

Our change of lifestyle (wearing of masks) requires a complete overhaul of our procedures too, to minimise the spread and reoccurrence. We require stringent regulation on the handling of masks too.

To many, including hawkers, it is a godsent opportunity. I am not worried about the quality of the masks in the market but on how they are handled by hawkers. Most homemade masks don't have sealed protection hence are at risk of contamination by the handlers.

It is a matter being overlooked, with grave consequences. The concerned state authorities must re-adjust and review procedures of handling and the disposal of used masks or else managing Covid-19 in Africa isn't going to be easy.  

 

Migori