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NCDC warns against use of face shields alone in preventing COVID-19

Following the increasing use of face shield in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that it does not prevent the spread of coronavirus when used alone.
It stated that here are no published studies on the effectiveness of face shields against COVID-19 in non healthcare setting.
 
In a public health advisory made available to the media, it explained that this has become necessary as the “increasing number of people in Nigeria are now using face shields, in the place of face masks, as they become more widely available.”
 
Noting that “face shields are generally used in healthcare settings by medical professionals to provide barrier protection to the facial area,
including the eyes, nose and lips,” it explained that even in healthcare settings, face shields are not meant to function as primary respiratory protection to prevent infection.
Accordingly, it stated that face shields are used in combination with surgical mask or N95 mask by health workers for maximum
protection during invasive procedures.
Maintaining that the use of face masks for COVID-19 prevention is important, as recent studies indicate that a significant proportion of people who have COVID-19 do not show symptoms (asymptomatic), and the virus can spread before these people know that they are sick (presymptomatic), it pointed out “there are no published studies on the effectiveness of face shields against COVID-19 in non-health care settings.
According to the statement, face shields are generally used in health care settings by medical professionals to provide barrier protection to the facial area,
including the eyes, nose and lips.
“Face masks are very important in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, especially in situations where physical distancing may be difficult, such as on public transportation, markets and in areas where there is a significant amount of community transmission.
“For effective protection, face shields are used in combination with an appropriate face mask in healthcare settings.
“There is currently limited to no evidence on the effectiveness of face shields
to prevent COVID-19 when used alone by the general public in non health setting.
“There is currently no guidance provided by the WHO or other relevant public
health authority that recommends the use of face shields in non-healthcare settings to prevent COVID-19.
“Given the limited evidence on the effectiveness of face shields in protecting people from COVID-19 infection in community settings, and the absence of recommendations on their use, by the WHO and other public health authorities.
” Face shields alone should not be
used in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
“When used, it should be done
in combination with an appropriate face mask.
It is important to remember that currently, no single intervention even when properly
used, provides complete protection from COVID-19 infection.
“Therefore, the use of facemasks or face shields with face masks should be combined with other public health and
social measures as announced by the Federal/State Ministries of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“Given the limited evidence on the effectiveness of face shields in protecting people from COVID-19 infection in community settings, and the absence of recommendations on their use, by the WHO and other public health authorities, face shields alone should not be
used in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 infection.”
” When used, it should be done in combination with an appropriate face mask.”

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