In Kenya, it is now an offence to appear in public without a face mask as the government races to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
However, the question of quality and appropriateness of the masks is yet to be conclusively addressed as many appear with masks made from different materials, including cloth.
During these desperate times, unscrupulous traders are likely to supply substandard masks, ending up exposing the public either to the virus or other health and safety hazards.
To protect the citizens, we urge the government to keep issuing guidelines on types of masks available in the market, how they should be handled and which are of the correct quality.
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that those making and selling masks do not endanger or mislead the public especially at a time when the purchasing power of many is reduced due to the measures taken to tame the spread of Coronavirus.
Critically, while the public should be careful about the sourcing of masks, it is only the government that has the manpower and resources to enforce sanity in the distribution of items such as masks and gloves.
It must also be seen to be taking punitive measures against those found to be either exploiting the public or distributing substandard goods, including masks.