The Ashanti regional chairman of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Paa Kwasi Baidoo has challenged a claim by the Food and Drugs Authority that local masks can protect clinicians against the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the health expert, after several research, there has been no proof that the said masks can protect health workers who engage directly with Covid-19 patients from contracting the virus.

“There’s been several research conducted that cloth masks do not protect one from either bacteria or viral infection.

“And indeed even the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention made their own recommendations and their recommendation is that this cloth masks should not be used by clinicians,’ he said on Top Story Friday.

The claim comes after the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital asked the medical team to use cloth masks after the GMA requested to be provided with materials, including the N95 face masks to facilitate their work as well as ensuring their safety.

Dr. Kwasi Baidoo says although they appreciate the efforts of heads of health institutions in providing the necessary materials to aid their work, he said the right provisions should be made.

The doctor said the local nose masks can be used by other health workers but can be harmful to persons who directly engage with patients in the lab.

“Now the emphasis is on clinicians; not every worker in the hospitals. Non-clinical staff (who usually are not in direct contact with patients) have lower risks of getting infected by the virus.

“Such workers can use the cloth nose masks but people in the outpatient department, in the wards, taking care of patients, per the evidence available, speaks against the use of cloth masks in the clinical setting,” he said.