Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 11, 2021 (SKNIS): With the emergence of new variants of the Coronavirus and the possibility of them reaching the Federation, it is necessary for persons to continue adhering to the prevention and control measures, says Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws.
Dr. Laws was at the time speaking at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Press Briefing on February 10. She said that wearing face masks is very important at this time.
“As a matter of fact, the latest information coming out is that wearing two masks is going to provide you that additional protection against the new variants,” she said. “So, prior to this we advocated one mask, but the science and the latest information are suggesting that with the emergence of these new variants you may have to wear two masks because these new variants are associated with increased transmissibility.”
“There is a risk of spreading this virus to many other persons and these risks are associated with reinfection and the variant first identified in the United Kingdom is associated with an increased risk of death. So, those who are living in the countries where these variants were first identified I see pictures of them wearing double masks. What they do is wear the surgical mask as the first layer and then they put on a cloth mask over the surgical mask.”
Also vital is maintaining proper hand hygiene and sanitizing high touch areas, said Dr. Laws. Maintaining a physical distance of three to six feet between individuals and avoiding crowds were also listed as significant.
“These are the measures along with the vaccine that are going to help us to get through this pandemic and help us to get through 2021,” she said.