Zimbabweans have been stampeding to buy hand sanitizer and masks after several cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the country.
However, health experts contend that medical masks, gloves and sanitisers are being improperly used.
Speaking during an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Harare City Council health services director Prosper Chonzi said:
It is a matter of concern, the surgical gloves and masks that people are using may not be serving the right purpose, especially if they are not carefully handled. Basically, we have two types of masks: the N95, which is for health workers and prevents them from catching the virus and we also have surgical masks which are for patients. These prevent patients from passing the virus to the next person.
In most cases, gloves and masks can only be used for a moment, touching surfaces and disposed of soon after and not for the whole day. One can contract an infection through improper handling of the masks. Hygiene issues are of great concern when using masks and gloves. However, most people are wearing them for the whole day, as it gives them a psychological feeling of protection.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care on Saturday said as of the 26th March 2020, 16 032 travellers arriving from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases were screened at the national points of entry and put on surveillance.
Meanwhile, as of yesterday, 194 people had been tested for COVID-19, with 187 testing negative, 7 testing positive, and one confirmed death.