The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has asked Ghanaians to exercise caution when purchasing nose masks to protect themselves against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director of Corporate Communications at the Authority, Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako in an interview with Samuel Eshun explained that some individuals will want to take advantage of the current situation for economic gains by penetrating the market with fake nose masks.
He thus noted that individuals have the responsibility to check which nose mask is fake and which one is not before purchasing the protective equipment.
"You don't have to buy just any nose mask. Usually, the standard nose mask has two linings. People are taking advantage and giving out the fake ones. It is our responsibility to look out for the right one."
We at GSA do inspections of the nose mask that come into the country to tell if it is good or not. If it does not meet the standards, we don't clear them for the market. Some people smuggle the bad ones and we are not able to check. But the ones that go through the right channels are checked.
"Once there is a word like 'fake', definitely there are fake things of the actual products. So what we will advise is that Ghanaians should be careful when buying facemasks", he told Samuel Eshun.
When questioned on how one can determine if a nose mask is fake or not, Dr. Amponsah Bediako explained: "One can even tell if it's fake from how light the facemask feels. Usually, the correct nose mask has many layers and is sewn in a way that covers your mouth and your nose. The material used for the mask has to be heavy".
In April last year, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) warned of inferior and unapproved nose masks flooding the market. According to the Authority, these nose masks did not meet the three-layer specifications which expose users to risk.