Is It Time To Stop Wearing Face Masks? Here Are Details Of What Experts Have Settled On.
Should people continue wearing face masks or discard them? This is one of the questions currently almost every person needs the answer as covid-19 positivity rate goes down.
The government is at loggerheads with medical experts over whether to lift the mandatory wearing of masks or not in the wake of low Covid-19 positivity rate.
On the other hand leading scientists and medical experts want the government to ease some of the restrictions such as mandatory wearing of masks but the ministry health has insisted Kenya will not “blindly follow” some decisions being taken by Western countries on the control of Covid-19 pandemic.
Some experts who believe it is time to drop the mask say such policies have been an important strategy at certain phases of the pandemic and have now been overtaken by the latest developments on vaccination.
According to this group of experts, the country is no longer in the same position it was in 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.
“Once you do not have a lot of virus, and you have a highly vaccinated community, you move from masking requirement to masking optional,” says Dr Moses Masika, a virologist and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
Masika argues that to keep wearing face masks beyond when they are necessary risks undermining the public’s trust in health officials.
“In the event of future surges, he says, officials may need to renew mask mandates, but they should lift them when conditions are better, as they are presently”, 2022 Masika advised the nation.
On Tuesday, Health Cabinet Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman was in a total disagreement with Masika’s standing on wearing of face masks.
Aman warned that the country is not out of Covid-19 danger yet to make the government lift the wearing of masks requirement.
“For the government to lift non-pharmaceutical restrictions such as wearing of face masks, at least 70 per cent of the country’s population must be vaccinated”, Dr Aman said.
Dr Aman expressed uncertainty on what is expected next on the mutation of the virus and it would be dangerous for the country to lift basic containment measures.
“Let us not rush into decisions that we may end up regretting over. It is just too early to lift the restrictions on wearing of masks,” Aman said.
Aman added that it is dangerous to drop wearing masks now because when a fully vaccinated person avoids wearing a mask and gets infected, though they would not get sick, they will obviously infect the unvaccinated people.
Other Medic argue that the low risk of transmission in Kenya, like many other African countries, calls for a review of some measures, such as mask wearing, because they are no longer necessary.