Uganda urges health workers to wear double masks to minimize COVID-19 infection

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A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Mulago referral hospital in Kampala, on the first day of a vaccination campaign on March 10, 2021. - Uganda has started to give vaccination with 964,000 doses from Indian government for frontline workers, nurses, doctors, teachers and officers from all units of police. (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP) (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which is more deadly and devastating, Ugandan health authorities directed all health workers to wear two face masks while discharging their duties due to their risk of contracting infection.

FILE PHOTO: A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Mulago referral hospital in Kampala, Uganda. (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

“As health workers, you interface with many patients daily, and you are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19. The Scientific Advisory Committee has guided that health workers, because of the risk, need to use two masks (double masks) while in clinic/wards,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry also urged the health workers to follow the existing health guidelines to prevent further infections and pledged to provide the necessary personal protective equipment.

Health experts say the current wave is worse than the first one since it is more transmissible and affecting young people.

More than 1,600 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 while at least 15 of them have died, according to government figures.

Previous investigations by authorities revealed cases among both private and public health sector workers were believed to have emerged from the communities within which they live in.

Uganda has so far reported 54,669 confirmed cases and 388 deaths.

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