Home >News >World >Wear masks in public says WHO, in update of COVID-19 advice
WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a range of tools that can reduce the risk of viral transmission (Photo: Reuters)
WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a range of tools that can reduce the risk of viral transmission (Photo: Reuters)

Wear masks in public says WHO, in update of COVID-19 advice

WHO said it has evidence now that if this is done properly masks can provide a barrier ... for potentially infectious droplets

LONDON : The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its guidance on Friday to recommend that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public areas where there is a risk of transmission of COVID-19 to help reduce the spread of the pandemic disease.

In its new guidance, prompted by evidence from studies conducted in recent weeks, the WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a range of tools that can reduce the risk of viral transmission, and should not give a false sense of protection.

"We are advising governments to encourage that the general public wear a mask. And we specify a fabric mask - that is, a non-medical mask," the WHO's technical lead expert on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, told Reuters in an interview.

"We have new research findings," she added. "We have evidence now that if this is done properly it can provide a barrier ... for potentially infectious droplets."

While some countries and US states have recommended or mandated the wearing of face coverings in public, the WHO had previously said there was not enough evidence for or against the use of masks for healthy people in the wider community.

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