DOUGLAS Syakalima has questioned the authenticity of home-made masks, in the prevention of contracting the coronavirus.
He notes that his argument is backed by a research recently done in Vietnam over the use of medical masks versus home-made ones.
Syakalima is Chirundu UPND member of parliament.
The governing PF has sewn masks with its brand, and those are earmarked for distribution to people.
“These PF branded masks…I have just discovered that there is some research that has been done in Vietnam over the medical masks versus home-made masks like these PF-branded masks. Even the medical masks are still not good enough because the permeation is about 44 per cent,” Syakalima said in an interview on Friday.
“What about these home-mask; they are about 97 per cent permeation levels! So, you are risking people. This is an informed research and it’s not like an impromptu commentary.”
He added that home-made masks have not been authenticated or given a go-ahead by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS).
“So, where have they been tested because even the tested masks are not even 100 per cent watertight? This is condemning people to death because people will be thinking they are safe when they are not,” Syakalima charged.
“We must know the authenticity of these masks and who has authorised them. Why are they on the market? They (the government) should have distributed the medical masks en masse.”
The lawmaker noted that the leadership of the PF thought distribution of home-made masks could bolster its campaign activity.
“Their thinking is that if they distribute PF-branded masks to one million people, that number of people will vote for them! But those who are not PF would not want to wear those things,” said Syakalima.
“Then those who don’t like PF, and who are more in numbers, will not wear these masks and therefore subjected to the disease. This is a very serious issue and what I’m saying is backed by research and they can’t dismiss this.”