KUCHING: Members of the public have been told that toilet paper cannot replace face masks.
Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii pointed out yesterday that a proper three-ply mask included an additional layer which was waterproof to stop mucous from either spreading out or to the mouth and nose.
“Toilet paper does not have such waterproof ability and thus, cannot prevent the spread of virus,” he told New Sarawak Tribune when asked to comment on the public rush to buy food rations and toilet paper following the news of the first Coronavirus (Covid-19) case reported in the state.
Dr Yii said while there was nothing wrong with buying supplies, the public should not buy above and beyond what was needed.
“I believe people should not panic but take the necessary precautions during this outbreak,” he said.
Dr Yii added it was necessary to take all the precautions including washing of hands, taking care of personal hygiene and also avoiding crowded places.
“Due to the insufficient stocks of hand sanitiser at the moment, the public are advised to practise common hand washing techniques with water and soap and studies have shown that it is sufficient.”
He also hoped the government would push for local manufacturers to produce more hand sanitisers to cater for the demand.
Mental Health Association Sarawak president Prof Dr Ismail Drahman pointed out that whenever there was a virus outbreak, people would go to supermarkets to buy more than they needed because it was psychological response to fear. “Buying extra gives them a sense of security,” he said.