One of our favourite TV personalities, Somizi Mhlongo, posted a video on Instagram over the weekend, where he drew attention to the fact that staff at retailers such as Woolworths and Pick n Pay do not wear masks and gloves. He was expressing concern for their health amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
In the video, he said, ‘I’m leaving Pick n Pay right now and I just asked the management why the staff isn’t wearing masks and gloves. They say they were told that if they want masks they must buy for themselves.’
He said that he was mainly concerned because they stand in such close proximity to customers, and can easily get infected with the virus. ‘They are exposed more than anybody else. This is bulls**t.’
You can watch the full video here:
In an interview with TshisaLIVE, Pick n Pay spokesperson, Janine Caradonna, said that they require their staff to uphold strict personal hygiene and hand sanitiser is readily available for staff and customers.
‘Some customers have asked us why our staff are not wearing face masks and gloves. The World Health Organisation (WHO) clearly advises that a healthy person should only wear a face mask if they are taking care of someone suspected of having coronavirus, or if they are coughing themselves,’ she said.
Woolworths spokesperson, Kirsten Hewitt said something similar: ‘The safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers remains a top priority for us. In line with the World Health Organisation (WHO), we have been advised against the use of face masks as they do not prove to be effective in preventing infection for the wearer.
Also, gloves are not effective because research has shown that microbial standards are better achieved when people wash their hands correctly, and people will more regularly wash their hands when not wearing gloves. Gloves have further been shown to lead to sweating which again incubates microbes.’
Regardless, we hope that everyone is doing their utmost to stay safe during this pandemic.
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