The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has mandated all citizens to use face masks in all public spaces, effective 1 June 2020. This according to a press release from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation was to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The practice of use of face masks by the public, together with social distancing and hand washing, helps in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and saves lives. Covid-19 is spread from aerosols (tiny viral particles); we breathe in aerosols in crowded places like markets, buses, places of worship, and so on, and we later touch our face accidentally numerous times with potentially infected hands.
It has long been recognized that respiratory viruses can be transmitted via droplets that are generated by coughing or sneezing. It is less widely known that normal speaking also produces thousands of oral fluid droplets with a broad size distribution. Mask wearing will prevent this.
According to a research from the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America at least 1,000 virus-containing droplets are released in a 1-minute discussion. Which is a high probability of contracting the disease.
The release states that as citizens we are more exposed to COVID-19 infection through the respiratory track system which is why face mask is important in our collective fight against COVID-19.
This policy is said to be enforced by the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police.