GENEVA: Amid COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation has issued a new advisory regarding the face masks.
WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement said, “In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is a widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult.”
He further said in areas with community-level COVID-19 transmission, “We suggest that people aged 60-years or over, or those with underlying conditions, should wear a medical mask in situations where physical distancing is not possible.” he added.
The UN health agency maintained in its recommendation that people who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and if it is absolutely necessary for them or their contacts to leave home, they should wear a medical mask.
However, WHO stressed that facemasks alone “will not protect you from COVID-19” — and people suffering from the virus should not be out in public if they can avoid it.
The WHO now recommends that in areas with widespread COVID-19 transmission, all people working in clinical sections of a health facility should wear medical masks — not just those dealing with patients with the virus.
The WHO also issued new guidance on the composition of non-medical fabric masks for the general public, advising that they should consist of at least three layers of a different material.
The inner layer should be made of a water-absorbent material such as cotton, the middle layer which acts as a filter from a material like non-woven polypropylene, while the outer layer should be a water-resistant material such as polyester.
The WHO’s emergency director Michael Ryan stressed that putting on a fabric mask is primarily about preventing the wearer from possibly infecting others, rather than self-protection.
The novel COVID-19 has infected at least 6.7 million people and killed more than 390,000 globally since the outbreak first emerged in China in 2019.
According to the latest WHO data, the US has seen more than 106,000 deaths from the disease, and over 1.8 million confirmed infections. Latin America’s largest country, Brazil, has had more than 580,000 cases of infection and some 32,500 deaths.
Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) had urged to take every precaution against the coronavirus, as the global pandemic is far from over.
“It’s not over until there’s no virus anywhere in the world,” WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris told a virtual news briefing in Geneva. “So, all the things we have been saying (still) apply.,” he added.
According to the WHO spokesperson, the best precaution is being able to stay one meter away from each other, being able to wash your hands, being able to ensure that you don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes.