WHO advised people to wear mask in public areas

The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its advice on face masks, saying they must be worn publicly to assist stop the spread of coronavirus.

The global body said new information showed they might provide “a barrier for potentially infectious droplets”.

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Some countries round the world already recommend or mandate the wearing of face coverings publicly.

The WHO had previously argued there wasn’t enough evidence to mention that healthy people should wear masks.

The organisation had always advised that medical face masks should be worn by those that are sick and people caring for them.

There are 6.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide and nearly 400,000 deaths since the outbreak began late last year, as stated by data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The organisation said its new guidance had been prompted by studies over recent weeks. “We are advising governments to encourage that the general public wear a mask,” Dr Van Kerkhove said.


At the identical time, the WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a variety of tools that would be used to reduce the risk of transmission – which they must not give people a false sense of protection.

“Masks on their own will not protect you from Covid-19,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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