Covid-19: Frontliners should be given priority to get face masks, says expert

Malaysian Public Health Medicine Specialist Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said frontline personnel such as doctors, nurses, clinic staff and the police need to deal directly with patients in the fight against Covid-19, but the lack of face masks supply has made it difficult. — Bernama pic
Malaysian Public Health Medicine Specialist Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said frontline personnel such as doctors, nurses, clinic staff and the police need to deal directly with patients in the fight against Covid-19, but the lack of face masks supply has made it difficult. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Frontliners and people with symptoms need to be given priority to get face masks, said Malaysian Public Health Medicine Specialist Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar.

He said frontline personnel such as doctors, nurses, clinic staff and the police need to deal directly with patients in the fight against Covid-19, but the lack of face masks supply has made it difficult.

“The supply of face masks is now limited so frontliners should be given priority.

“People with symptoms should also wear a mask to prevent infection. At this moment, do not waste our resources,” he said adding that besides wearing face masks, people could practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr N Ganabaskaran said the use of face masks is not mandatory for the public but it is more important for frontline workers.

“Frontliners in hospitals and clinics such as doctors and nurses need face masks or their health will be at risk.

He also advised people not to buy face masks excessively for personal use if they were not needed.

In addition, he warned that the key to preventing Covid-19 infection is through personal hygiene by washing hands and not spitting everywhere. — Bernama

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