Thursday, June 20, 2024

Pharmaceutical Society says cloth face masks have Zero protection against COVID 19


By Patricia Mbewe

The Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ) is concerned that cloth face masks that people are making to protect themselves from the corona virus have zero percent protection.

PSZ President Jerome Kanyika argues that there is no scientific evidence to show that cloth face masks can prevent Covid 19 and that different research conducted indicate that the masks have zero percent protection against the virus.

In an interview with Phoenix News, Mr. Kanyika feels the best preventive way is to observe social distancing and washing hands with soap.

He explained that in as much as the presidential directive to all citizens to wear masks is welcome, the best government can do is to distribute free face masks to citizens if this order is to be successful.

In a related development, Patriotic Front National Youth Committee Member, Francis Kapyanga says Zambia will not succeed in the fight against the corona virus if the on-going exploitative prices of all products used in the prevention of the virus is allowed to continue.

Mr. Kapyanga is concerned with the high level of exploitation of consumers wishing to buy products such as masks, hand sanitizers and wipes, a trend he says is negatively affecting efforts in the prevention of the disease.

He is appealing to government to immediately use relevant agencies to put price controls on products being used in the fight against Covid 19 as only a few privileged individuals can afford to procure them.



  1. Zambia society of idyots at it again.
    A person wearing a PF cloth mask and someone without any mask, who will smell a PuuF ichisushi more? Why do people cover their mouth and noise when they pass behind a chubuku bar? SMELL… Is airborne.
    Edgar has tough job to rule idyoots. No wonder PF has refused to share donated covic items and money mwee.

  2. its very very unrealistic to think the government can provide masks for everyone. Even the civil service are too many for government to provide

  3. Just arrest those Lusaka Society of pharmaceutical. Why even debate? This why Lusambo has been beating educated people of Lusaka.
    Humans have always covered their mouth when someone pass gas from their stinking …

  4. The same funds being donated to fight Covid-19 should be used to Carry out researches and tests of cloth, homemade masks as well as trying other possible local herbs. Unfortunately politicians are stingy, only accept advice coming from the rich and yet wisdom is not about being rich or political.

  5. Fellow Zambians, please proceed with the use of cloth face masks if they are the only ones available. They will reduce transmission. Half a loaf is better than Nothing. Let us listen to much more senior experts when looking at such serious national issues. Other countries, including developed countries, are using cloth face masks. The government cannot and will not afford to provide the so called IDEAL masks to every Zambian national. Use what is available to prevent transmission.
    God Bless Zambia

  6. Use what you can afford to use. These pharma fimo fimo are just yapping. Some pharmacies are their members. Why dont encourage them to reduce the price of Sanitizer? Nakatenge in desperate times kuti kabomba.

  7. Umusungu told us when you are injured (ichilonda) use a white bandage. So you will be waiting for a white bandage to cover your wound. ??? No use a piece of Chitenge to save your would from being infected.

  8. The only most successful protection from corona virus is social distancing and washing hands this works better than some of those masks that give false confidence yet serves nothing, if you can please stay at home.

  9. The phamacies are just stranded with the over priced masks which they have stocked up and were hoping to cash in on them.Tough luck.

    God has a way of saving the poor from exploitation.
    Those cloth masks are just alright for our poor majority.

  10. We have all along depended on western ideas to find solutions to our problems. Imwe ba pharma fimo fimo….there is world wide shortage of masks ….What is the solution? Tufwe fye? Lisukulu nshi mwaileko? Give solutions not ubufi bweka bweka naimwe!!!

  11. fellow citizens its better for you to be 100% protected than for you to take risks those simple vitenges will not save you. get it from the proffessional persons than for you to listern to cheap political lies. life is precious once you loose it that is gone.

  12. @shilubemba, on a windy day, social distancing means nothing. The best is to use use a mask, or think cloth.

    Otherwise stay home

  13. True, cloth face masks do not provide the same protection as a N95 face mask. Most of us have no need for a surgical mask or N95 respirator since we don’t work around sick people. Leave those to the ones who do! Cloth masks mainly slow the spread by a-symptomatic people by keeping us from sneezing and coughing on each other so is the polite thing to do. Worn correctly (don’t take it off, adjust it, or wear it under your chin!) they do also provide some protection by keeping us from touching our nose and mouth until we get home and wash with soap. Depending how the mask was made you may even put a paper towel between layers to improve filtration. Also, the cloth mask must also be washed after every use… same as paper masks must be THROWN AWAY after ONE use.

  14. The Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ) is misleading the Zambian people, a little more research is important. A cloth mask yes has no protection from exposure to droplets (droplets being the source of contamination) from a positive person but is very effective when a positive person is using it. What do i mean. A cloth mask is effective on the principle that each and every person within the exposure radius is wearing a cloth mask. With a cloth mask all the droplets from cough, sneeze, talking etc will not be projected out (as the case is when without cloth mask) and land on another person’s mouth, face, surfaces etc.
    So if we all used face masks we will all be protected. Case in point Hong Kong

  15. They have zero data about COVID-19 themselves. What research has been done about COVID-19 and clothe face masks, zero. Face masks of whatever material provides a physical barrier and are better than within. PSZ should engage their greedy members who want to cash on on COVID-19 to have a human heart.

  16. In addition to social distancing, if you can’t afford a pharmacy mask, a cotton fabric ‘bandana’ can double as a mask.

  17. @ Hon Bowman: are you now falling back on the law that you have trashed all along? Seeking equity with soiled hands, eh?

  18. What advice for asthmatics and those already affected by respiratory problems on use of these masks. My asthmatic sib was almost suffocating

  19. Somebody should tell the pharmaceutical Society (of Zambia?) to stop confusing people. WHO has recommended the use of masks after research showed the virus is airborne. Confusion is on what protection the society is talking about. Listen to Spuds, Buga and Zennia here. The cloth masks protect someone other than the wearer. Just like all the others except the surgical ones which are meant for health workers dealing with people already ill. So if you meet someone who is not showing signs of infection and s/he is not wearing a mask, you can be infected. That is why making everybody wear one means everybody is protected – you protect me; I protect you. It does not therefore help if only you are wearing a mask while everybody else is not. Cloth masks are effective in this sense and…

  20. Weather it works or it doesnt, this time we are in a crisis and will try anything that might even remotely give us any sense of protection. Better just to wear even if it doesnt work than not to wear and later find out that it was actually working for other people.

  21. Ba PSZ, please stop confusing people! No one says cloth masks are meant to protect you from the virus. They are meant to protect others you come in contact with because the cloth mask will prevent aerosolized droplets from someone who is already infected, but may be asymptomatic, from landing on other people who are not infected yet.

    Like others have already stated, if everyone wore a mask you are actually protecting one another and in the process slowing down the rate of transmissions. @Buga’s comment is excellent.

  22. Who with a brain listens to pharmaceutical society anyway. They sell dangerous untested medicines to people. Look at the opioid pandemic in the West. In the USA peop!e are booked on dangerous opioids and they have been sued left right for the careless conduct if not speaking out.

    I would say as long as the masks are doubled up, they protect if someone coughs on you. It’s suggested that masks would help prevent people coughing out droplets if their mouth is covered. It’s not ideal, but people should just do what they feel protects them. Also it stops people touching their face, It’s also comforting psychologically.

  23. Mubanga and Opololoa above are right ,use a cloth mask its far better than nothing.Even doctors here in USA have advised us to use regular handkerchief as mask for protection.

  24. Staying home is the best protection. But when you really have to go out, cover yourself with a mask or any cloth material that will avoid droplets getting into you nose or mouth.

  25. This was a good time to make use of those taxes collected all over the place to give the population a sense of security and hope. Source non-branded, proven face masks and put them in all places. After all this worked with condoms in public and other places. Show us that you have been taxing your population for good reason – stop blaming PSZ. There are G-strings and other strange-looking things because there is no leadership or direction on this matter.

  26. What you have stated here is total crap. It is obvious that you don’t do your research properly. What you should be advising people is what material to make their masks from and how to wear them properly. DIY masks if made properly and from the correct material can protect just as much as M95 masks. You are the last organisation that should spread misinformation in Zambia. DIY masks are very efficient because they they not only protect you but also protect others reduce the spread of the disease. I don’t know if you are aware of the principle of little inoculum . That principle States that the outcome of your disease will depend on the amount of inoculum or in this case virus that you are infected with. If you get infected with only few viral particles your body has a chance to even…

  27. People are so greedy to the extent that they want to chew even what is left of the poor people. Have sympathy for once. Who told you to stockpile the masks for the sake of exorbitant profit?

  28. Bowman, heed to advise. The face masks do not offer protection against covid-19. The virus is too small about 10 nanomitor meanwhile the spaces of the cloth (cotton) is about 10000 times larger than the virus. Do you even understand this? I wonder, the same mask can be a spreader of the virus. Because there is even something called proper use. The outer surface is the most vulnerable due to power of cough of an infected person. Although the velocity of the virus has not been established yet. Consult ministry of health before you make many people sick including yourself.

  29. I SUPPORT THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF ZAMBIA, USE N-95 and will give you 95% protection if worn properly and FIT test done. – no need for research. even our Minister and his Director appear to be ignorant. Where is Prof Nkandu Luo to educate Ministers and Government Official.

    PhD scientist

  30. A presidential directive given zero percent effectiveness. Thats bright. You will soon get fired. You should have sited some research evidence to indicate zero percent effectiveness. Otherwise you just sound like an *****.

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