By HENRY OWINO

World Mask Week marked on August 7-14 for the very first time almost eight months after Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic. Several intervention measures have since been put in place by health experts to tame the spread across the world.

So, it has been the year of masks here, masks there, and masks worn everywhere by all regardless of race, creed, age, gender, social status name it. The year 2020 will go down into history books of records that Covid-19, a disease that really equalized the human beings.

It is important for everyone to note that the coronavirus is still in our midst. It will be fool hardy for some people to continue to propagate the message that the existence of the virus is a farce or unrealistic. Coronavirus is a global pandemic and has killed thousands of people around the world, of which Africa is no exception.

Coronavirus is communicable thus easily spread from one person to another. If one person has the virus he/she can spread it to others, and then each of those people are capable of spreading it to others within a short time.  The virus can spread throughout a community by just a person being infected.

Most people with Coronavirus have only mild symptoms or do not show any signs and symptoms. Medically, they are known as asymptomatic patients.  It is very possible that you, or the person near you, have the Coronavirus and do not even know it. While most people who have the virus feel fine, they can still spread it to others and unfortunately elderly or people with underlying health conditions.

In fact, such people when they get the virus, they become very sick and even die. Human beings are social animals and all have loved ones who are older and have other health conditions. Sometimes, people do not know they have other health conditions until it gets worse and become very sick.

According Dr Patrick Amoth, acting  Director of Medical in Kenya such underlying health conditions, even when we do not know about them can make our bodies weaker in fighting other sicknesses, like coronavirus.

“But all is not lost, there is hope .Only if we all come together in solidarity and pledge to wear a mask when in public places correctly and consistently.  We can slow the spread and infections and save lives,” Dr Amoth said.

“Wearing a mask shows you care for each other. “I cover my face to protect you; you cover your face to protect me.” The Coronavirus pandemic is not over; in fact, it’s spreading like wildfire in far too many places around the globe,” Dr Amoth cautions.

Dr Amoth emphasizes that Science postulates that community masking is critical to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Until vaccines or medicines are found, mask wearing is one of the best tools that can be used by all, along with social distancing and hand washing.

“We now know that any of us could be carrying and spreading the virus. Even if we are not experiencing the symptoms we can still infect our colleagues,” Dr Amoth emphasizes.

A review funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 172 research studies from 16 countries and six continents found that face mask use could result in a large reduction in the risk of infection. Based on this growing evidence on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus, the global public health community agrees. Wearing a mask or face covering when in public helps protect communities.

That is why there is huge support World Mask Week (August 7-14). This movement demands each of us to do what we can to slow the spread of the virus and to save lives in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and communities.

Health experts applaud everyone who has been wearing a mask and invites more people to join the movement. We must ensure that everyone everywhere knows and understands the benefits of wearing a mask.

Therefore, together with government officials, all leaders and individuals rise up to the challenge, we can overcome this pandemic.

Again World Mask Week is a global movement to inspire more people to wear face masks. It helps in stopping the spread of Coronavirus and Kenya is on board. To mark the first ever World Mask Week, masks here, masks there, masks worn by all, everywhere.

The Coronavirus pandemic is not over. It is still here and spreading in Africa and it is spreading rapidly in far too many places around the globe.

International Youth Day is marked on August 12 and leaders applaud all the young people who are stepping up and helping to stop the spread of the virus by wearing a mask.

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