Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, recently said that nobody will move in the state without wearing a mask after the expiration of 14-day lockdown. He made this known while addressing the people of the state on Thursday, April 2.
Obiano said after the expiration of the 14-day stay-at-home order which began on 24th of March, nobody would move without wearing a mask in the state. He said he had ordered tailors in the state to mass produce no fewer than three million facemasks.
The governor said, “We shall soon commence the distribution of three million masks to residents of Anambra State in the 181 communities in Anambra. The Igwes (monarchs) and the Presidents- General of communities will assist the government in profiling the tailors in their various communities that will help in mass-producing these masks for distribution to the members of the communities. Our intention in handing out three million masks is to ensure that after the 14-day shutdown of the state, no one will step out of their home without wearing a facial mask.”
Some people might feel that asking everyone to wear a face mask might look awkward and a bit extreme. That view may change if you understand the reasons behind wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic, especially now that some other countries are also asking their citizens to put on the mask as a way of preventing the spread of the disease. Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia made it compulsory to wear some form of covering over their mouths and noses when entering certain public spaces. In this respect, they have more closely followed the lead of health authorities in Asian countries — such as China and South Korea, where masks have been strongly encouraged and even widely distributed — than their own neighbors in Europe. Similarly, Jena, a city in eastern Germany, announced its intention to make it compulsory to wear a mask in supermarkets and on public transit, though the German government as a whole had not issued such recommendation.
Even in Nigeria, some other governors have started following this measure by also asking residents of their states to wear face masks. Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, was reported to have said that anyone not wearing a face mask outside his home should be arrested. Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River also began the distribution of face and nose masks produced at the state-owned garment factory in Calabar to residents of the state.
Here are top 10 reasons why Governor Obiano is right to ask people in the state to wear face mask while leaving their homes.
1. It protects you from asymptotic coronavirus carriers.
2. To gives you social protection. At least, you feel safe when interacting with others.
3. To gives you psychological protection. At least, you feel safe within you that you are taking action to ensure you don’t get infected with coronavirus while in public.
4. It prevents you from infecting others from coronavirus if you are an asymptotic carrier; you don’t appear sick but you’re carrying the virus
5. To protect the elderly ones in the cities and villages you might visit not knowing you’re an ‘innocent killer’. Evidence shows the elderly are worse hit by the coronavirus-related deaths and most of them were infected by younger carriers. Obiano wants to protect the elderly in the state.
6. To maintain awareness that all is not well with the world, health wise. When everyone is wearing a face mask you have that consciousness that the coronavirus pandemic had not ended and you’re likely to maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, use hand sanitizers and other measure to protect you from getting infected.
7. To prevent stigmatization of victims of coronavirus disease.
8. To create a life-style of safety against coronavirus infection after the lock down.
9. Wearing of face masks worked in China and South Korea as one of the major ways coronavirus spread was suppressed in that country. Countries like Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia made it compulsory for their citizens to wear face masks. Now America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also urged Americans to voluntarily wear face mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This came weeks after the same CDC insisted that those who are not sick should not wear a face mask. For the CDC to make a U-turn and ask Americans to wear face masks, just like Obiano told Anambra residents to do, it means this is an effective approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus disease.
10. To flatten the curve of coronavirus spread and keep the state safe.