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Health officials advise on use of face masks  

Health authorities are advising people to use face masks purchased only at government-owned facilities including pharmacies as protection against the coronavirus, saying that poorer quality masks are inadequate.
A senior official from the Ministry of Health, who asked not to be named, told the media recently that the only type of mask that is effective against Covid-19 is the N95 mask.
Other than this there is no product in Laos that can protect people against the virus. While there are other masks available, they do not afford 100 percent protection.
Health authorities have admitted concerns about the shortage of masks, saying this could put the health of medical workers and others who really need them at risk.
He said some people wear surgical masks because they have a cold or the flu and don’t want to infect other people. But if you are unwell, it’s best just not to go to public places, he advised.
Fear of the spreading coronavirus has led to a global run on sales of face masks despite medical experts’ advice that most people who aren’t sick don’t need to wear them.
Many shops have sold all their stock, while others are limiting how many a customer can buy. Amazon is policing its site, trying to make sure sellers don’t gouge panicked buyers.
Before putting on a mask, you should clean your hands with alcohol-based handrub or soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based handrub or soap and water.
Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks. To remove the mask, take it off from behind (do not touch the front of the mask), discard it immediately in a closed bin, and wash your hands as described above.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update March 6, 2020)

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