WHO Advises Moving Forward With Face Masks in Public

Clay Curtis
June 6, 2020

Anyone who's honest with themselves will have to admit that the guidance and messaging around the use of face masks as the coronavirus pandemic has dragged on has been, shall we say, less than ideal.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, speaks during a news conference on updates regarding the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated its face mask guidelines which cover the use of masks by the general public in areas with community transmissions.

While the WHO previously limited advising wearing face masks to healthcare workers and caregivers, their latest statement suggests that people over 60 or with pre-existing health issues should wear a medical-grade mask, while all others are advised to wear a three-layer fabric mask.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the shift Friday, citing new evidence that showed face masks worn by healthy people could be "a barrier for potentially infectious droplets", the BBC reported.

People over the age of 60 or those with underlying medical conditions should specifically wear a medical mask where social distancing can not be maintained, he added.

Non-medical masks could protect someone who is infectious with Covid-19 from spreading it to others, but they were not proven to be effective in protecting the person wearing them from becoming infected by others, the ministry said.

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"In light of evolving evidence, World Health Organization advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is hard, such as on public transport, in shops, or in other confined or crowded environments".

Back in March, the United Nations Health agency stood by their advice on the face mask and urged people not to wear masks if we are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick.

The inner layer should be water-absorbent, such as cotton; the middle layer should be from a material like non-woven polypropylene, and acts as a filter; while the outer layer should be water-resistant, such as polyester.

He said they were not a replacement for physical distancing and hand hygiene.

"Find, isolate, test and care for every case, and... trace and quarantine every contact". It added that this is what they know works and it is every country's best defense against COVID-19.

The documents lists the known COVID-19 symptoms as follows: " Symptoms can include: fever, cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and muscle pain.

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