- A video has been doing the rounds on social media encouraging people to buy face masks
- The masks are lauded as effective protection against the coronavirus
- Briefly.co.za explores this claim to see if there is any medical backing to this claim
A video on social media has been prompting people to run out and purchase face masks as protection against the novel coronavirus.
An advert, the clip calls on people to 'protect your loved ones from the deadly coronavirus', warning against the danger of the epidemic.
AFP reports that this is in direct violation to advise from US government health officials.
In response to the outbreak, Surgeon General Jerome Adams had warned against the perception that this is effective protection:
“Seriously people - stop buying masks! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
Adams warns that wearing a mask can actually increase a person's chances of infection:
"Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also noted the influx of mask-wearing in the face of the breakout:
“CDC does not currently recommend the use of facemasks to help prevent novel coronavirus. Take everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness."
Briefly.co.za reported that South Africa has confirmed its first case of the virus on Thursday.
This has apparently already compelled people to jump on the mask bandwagon, with reports of both masks and hand sanitiser flying off of the shelves as citizens attempt to protect themselves.
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