The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in a new guideline, has said face shield must not be used alone, but with facemask in the public.
NCDC warned that there were no established studies on the effectiveness of face shields against COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings.
According to the body, “Given the scarce evidence on the effectiveness of face shields in protecting people from COVID-19 infection in community settings, and the absence of recommendations on their use by the WHO and other public health authorities, face shields alone should not be used in preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection. When used, it should be done in combination with an appropriate facemask.”
The centre, in an advisory released, yesterday, noted that face shields are generally used in health care settings by medical professionals to provide barrier protection to the facial area, including the eyes, nose and lips and there is currently no guidance provided by the WHO or other relevant public health authority that recommends the use of face shields in non-healthcare settings to prevent COVID-19.
NCDC explained that even in healthcare settings, face shields are not meant to function as primary respiratory protection to prevent infection. “Face shields are used in combination with a surgical mask or N95 mask by health workers for maximum protection during invasive procedures such as intubation.”
It noted that an increasing number of people in Nigeria are now using face shields, in the place of facemasks, as they become more widely available, adding that for effective protection, face shields are used in combination with an appropriate facemask in healthcare settings.