The Aga Khan University Hospital has announced a ban on the use of masks with valves in its facilities.
In a statement on Wednesday, the hospital explained that the masks only protect the wearer and offer no protection to those around them.
“The design of these masks allow inhaled air to be filtered but the exhaled air is not. The exhaled air can be expelled towards others even more than from a person not wearing a mask,” the hospital said while referring to the spread of Covid-19.
“These masks therefore pose risk to others.”
Masks with a valve are not allowed within the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi facilities because they only protect the wearer and offer no protection to those around him/her. pic.twitter.com/RSXCwNwBN3
— Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (@AKUHNairobi) December 16, 2020
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), current evidence suggests that the virus that causes Covid-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
“You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands, ” WHO says.
The organisation also warns people against using masks with valves.
According to WHO, masks with valves are intended for industrial workers to prevent dust and particles from being breathed in as the valve closes on inhale.
“However, the valve opens on exhale, making it easier to breathe but also allowing any virus to pass through the valve opening. This makes the mask ineffective at preventing the spread of Covid-19 or any other respiratory virus, ” WHO says on its website.