The state minister in charge of Primary Health Care, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu has revealed that face shields do not provide 100% protection against covid-19 as many have been led to believe.
The minister noted with concern that many Ugandans had substituted face shields for the usual face masks as a way of protecting themselves.
Addressing journalists today at Uganda Media Centre, Dr Kaducu warned; “The face shields are good physical barrier that provide additional protection by shielding eyes from droplets. While they reduce the droplets reaching the eyes and mouth, face shields leave a lot of uncovered space around these areas, enabling some droplets to reach them.”
The shields, she said, are unlike masks which protect individuals by preventing droplets from landing on their lips and nose, the major areas where covid-19 enters the body.
“The masks also prevent infected persons from dispensing virus through droplets as they talk or sneeze. Therefore, the ministry of health strongly discourages the public from using face shields as an alternative to face masks. In the event that they are to be used, this must be alongside with face masks as an additional protection,” she said.
Uganda is currently in phase 4 of the Covid pandemic, which is characterised by intense and wide spread community transmission of covid-19 in nearly all the districts in the country with emerging hotspots.
“Currently, Kampala remains the hotspot followed by other emerging hotspot districts like Kabarole, Kasese, Kabale, Lwengo, Masaka and Lyatonde,” Minister Kaducu further revealed
“On average, today we are reporting 3,600 cases weekly and these emerge from 35 districts in the country. This is a significant increase compared to the previous week.
Meanwhile, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the WHO representative to Uganda revealed more about the global status of the pandemic.
“As of yesterday afternoon, the world has over 75.7 million cases to World Health Organisation in almost every country in the world,” he said.
He said that although Africa has fought to decrease on new cases in the past, in the past 12 weeks, there has been a constant increase of cases in the continent with the highest increase between the previous week of 78%.
“When we compare Uganda to the rest of the countries, Uganda has the 7th highest total number of cases and accounts for the 5th highest case load in the past 4 weeks.”