South Sudan NEWS PORTAL
The World Health Organization has advised the general public to wear face masks when unable to distance to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
The global health body said new information showed masks could provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets.
“In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there are wide-spread transmissions and physical distancing is difficult such as on public transport, in shops or other confined or crowded environments,” WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference on Friday.
Some countries around the world already recommend or mandate the wearing of face coverings in public.
According to the guideline, people over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask when they are out and cannot socially distance, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask.
“Based on this new research, WHO advises that fabric masks should consist of at least three layers of different materials. Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other public health measures,” the WHO director added.
The guidelines were updated following a review of available evidence and extensive consultation with international experts and civil society groups.
However, Tedros Adhanom warned against putting too much faith in masks, stressing that they are only part of a comprehensive strategy to defeat the disease.
“I cannot say this clearly enough: masks alone will not protect you from COVID-19,” he told journalists at the virtual press conference.
The WHO had previously argued there was not enough evidence to say that healthy people should wear masks.
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