Actress Sheila Mambo says tutorial on washing surgical face masks for those who can’t afford it

September photo of Sheila Mambo and her cat, at left, and a screengrab of Sheila’s video tutorial, at right. Photos: Sheila Mambo/Instagram
September photo of Sheila Mambo and her cat, at left, and a screengrab of Sheila’s video tutorial, at right. Photos: Sheila Mambo/Instagram

Malaysian actress Sheila Mambo yesterday defended a video tutorial of herself washing a surgical face mask, saying that it was her way of educating people especially those who could not afford to buy new masks and had been using filthy ones to protect themselves from COVID-19.

The 57-year-old actress, whose real name is Rusilawati Binti Hasan, had posted the video Saturday after she said that she had noticed several people walking around with dirty face masks. The 40-second video, which showed her washing the disposable face protection with soap and rinsing it with water, was called out by many online who said that the Mengejar Pelangi (Chasing Rainbows) actress was teaching people the wrong things. The general understanding is that face masks should be disposed of after using them for a day. 

“I’m trying to educate people without calling them out harshly, especially those who are wearing dirty masks,” the 57-year-old wrote on Instagram.

She had posted the tutorial on Saturday saying that she would wash the mask before wearing it again so as to save money since “masks are not cheap.” The average price of a surgical mask in Malaysia is RM1.50 (US$ 0.36) per piece or RM50 for a box of 50.

“We can simply wash this mask with soap, rinse it with water, and then hang it up to dry,” she could be heard as saying in the clip. 

According to the Ministry of Health, surgical masks should be disposed of after it is worn for a day. It should also be discarded at once if damaged, or came into contact with unknown fluids. 

Instagram user @Hanahamid was among those who told the actress in the comments that what she did was “wrong.” 

Another known as @Leezafik40 wrote:“I’m sorry, you can’t wear a mask again, it should be thrown away.”

There were also those who offered free masks to the actress. 

“I feel so sad to see you like this, please send me a message stating your address and I will give you some masks,” @Abby_abadi112 said in the comments. 

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