Cloth face masks are expected to be distributed by the Ministry of Health by the end of this week. Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh made the announcement at a media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, Port of Spain, on Monday.
The measure is meant to support an earlier government directive instructing people to wear masks whenever they ventured into the public.
Deyalsingh said N95 masks were to be preserved for frontline healthcare workers.
“We will be distributing through members of parliament, local corporations, going to areas of high traffic like City Gate, in Scarborough, San Fernando and so on.”
Deyalsingh called for the assistance of an NGO to distribute the masks.
Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram clarified that masks alone would not work to inoculate people from covid19.
He said the safety measure would protect people but not 100 per cent.
“Depending on the type of mask you use it gives you levels of protection, depending on how you wear it and how you take it off as well.”
He said masks, along with other health and safety measures which include social distancing, hand washing and sanitising would help protect people from the virus.