Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 04, 2020 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Health, in advising the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, has recommended that persons wear masks when they are among the general public.
This was pointed out by the Medical Chief of Staff at the JNF General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, during his presentation at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing for April 10.
He said, “The CDC recommends that people wear a cloth-based mask to cover their nose and mouths in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.”
“A cloth-based mask covering should be worn when people are in a community setting, especially when you are in a situation where you may be near to people and these settings include groceries and pharmacies,” said Dr. Wilkinson
He, however, stated that “These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing; they are especially important to wear in public in areas where there is widespread COVID illness.”
“Wearing a cloth-based mask covering in addition to public health measures should help to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Wilkinson said. “It is still recommended that you stay at least six feet away from other persons and do frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions.”
“A cloth-based covering is not intended to protect the wearer but it may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.” He further stated that “This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms,” he added.
The Medical Chief of Staff also highlighted that “cloth-based coverings should not be placed on younger children, younger than two years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious or incapacitated or otherwise is unable to remove the cover without assistance.”
“These persons who cannot wear a mask should be kept out of the general population,” he said.