Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Experts are warning against wearing masks if one is engaged in work that involves a lot of physical activity. According to medics, wearing a mask often reduces the airflow into the breathing chamber making it uncomfortable and difficult for one to breathe during intense exercise.
The advice comes a few days after the government announced that masks will now be mandatory for every person in a public place. Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng says that people are not supposed to put off their masks even when at their workplaces. However, she noted that exemptions are made only when one is engaged in activities such as jogging.
Aceng put out a guide of 18 questions that she answers ranging from the Don’ts that include not reusing medical masks, no sharing them even if it is with family members and not buying masks that are not properly packaged in transparent polythene.
Aceng added that homemade masks that are currently widely used should preferably be of cotton material and double layered with a pouch for a filter which may be polypropylene, tissue or toilet paper which should be wide enough to cover the nose, mouth and the chin.
Aceng added that although no monetary penalties or arrests have been instituted in the new statutory instrument S I 55 of 2020, she has just signed; she warns those who don’t wear their face masks will be barred from accessing public places.
Some people have expressed a concern of failing to ably breathe with their masks on. But Dr Henry Kajumbula, a scientist based at the Medical Microbiology Department of Makerere University says issues of hypoxia, a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen should not arise.
He, however doesn’t rule out stress while breathing especially if someone is engaged in physical activity.