KABUL (Pajhwok): Some social media users are persuading people not to wear masks as they claim prolonged use of it harms the lungs, but health experts reject this claim and call the publication of such messages as intentional and urge people to follow health guidelines.
However, since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization has emphasized that a mask should be used to prevent infection of the virus.
The use of masks in Afghanistan is surging day bay day.
Rumors: Mohammad Ali Zakeri, a twitter user, wrote: “Continued use of the mask seriously harms the lungs.”
Muzhgan, another twitter user, tweeted: “Wearing a mask weakens your immune system, especially if you do not eat well.”
She continued that in open spaces one should not wear masks as it is “breathing carbon dioxide” which acidifies the blood environment and weakens the body’s immune system.
Meanwhile, ISNA news agency of Iran wrote on its website: “Deputy Minister of Health says people should not worry and only observe health guidelines; wash hands with soap and water seriously.”
The post added that the mask was needed only for the medical staff, not everyone should wear it.
Noor Agha Ibrahimi, a Facebook user, who posted a text with a video clip on his page that read: “Dr. Margarita, one of Europe’s best neurologists says using a mask is dangerous.”
Health experts: wearing mask helps prevent infections of Covid-19.
Hashmatullah Faizi, ICU professional at the Afghan-Japan Hospital, who encouraged citizens to wear masks, said it had no harm but benefit.
He called the only way to survive coronavirus was to use a mask and to follow social distancing of one meter, not to participate in gatherings in crowded places.
Faizi advised that wearing masks, following social distancing and washing hands regularly were the only ways to prevent coronavirus infection.
Baz Mohammad Sherzad, another health expert, told Pajhwok that using a mask was the best way to prevent outbreak of the virus from a patient to a health person.
He said mask played a vital role in prevention of the virus but in case of proper use.
“Actually, there are some people in the society who feel discomfort with mask that is way persuading other people not to wear the mask,” he remarked.
He described that the mask probably made breath problems for some individuals but should make decision after consulting with a doctor.
Dr. Sherzad Ziman said masks could prevent virus in crowed areas especially in local transportation.
The health expert said all citizens, including those who received vaccination, must wear a mask in order to prevent the outbreak of the virus.
Ghulam Distagir Nazari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, told Pajhwok that unfortunately some people were trying to confuse public minds. He said using a mask had no risk but prevents coronavirus infection.
He said the ministry was always trying to share right messages with people through media and persuade people to adopt the right way.
Outcome: Some social media users and citizens say that wearing a mask is dangerous and causes respiratory problems, but medical and health experts say the mask is harmless and protects people against Covid-19.
Verdict: The reports about “mask is dangerous” has not scientific basis.
“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”