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June 15, 2020

World Health Organization (WHO) issues Advice for the Public on When and How to Use Masks.

World Health Organization, WHO


Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres (center) attends a briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak. Also present are Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (second from right), Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Sylvie Briand (left, seated), Director of the Global Infectious Hazard Management of WHO. 24 February 2020. Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré. [File Photo]

World Health Organization, WHO


World Health Organization, WHO


Following are excerpts from WHO Director-General’s remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 and updated mask guidance:

Today WHO is publishing updated guidance on the use of masks for control of COVID-19.

This guidance is based on evolving evidence and provides updated advice on who should wear a mask, when he/she should wear it, and what should constitute the cover.

WHO has developed this guidance through a careful review of all available evidence, and extensive consultation with international experts and civil society groups.

I wish to be very clear that the guidance we are publishing today is an update of what we have been saying for months: that the use of masks is only a part of a comprehensive strategy in the fight against COVID.

Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19.

WHO advises medical masks for all people working in clinical areas of a health facility in precincts with the widespread transmission. Not for only workers dealing with patients with COVID-19.

WHO has updated its guidance on the use of masks by the general public in areas with community transmission.

WHO advises governments to encourage the general public to wear masks where widespread transmission and physical distancing are challenging — such as on public transport, in shops, or other confined or crowded environments.

Our updated guidance contains new information on the composition of fabric masks, based on academic research requested by WHO.

Based on this new research, the WHO recommends that fabric masks consist of at least three layers of different materials. Details of which materials we recommend for each segment are in the guidelines.

We also guide how to wash and maintain a fabric mask.

Our guidance also explains how to use a mask safely.

People can potentially infect themselves if they use contaminated hands to adjust a mask or repeatedly take it off and put it on without cleaning their hands in between.

Masks can also create a false sense of security, leading people to neglect measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing.

I cannot say this enough: masks alone will not protect you from COVID-19.

Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other public health measures.

Masks are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID-19.

WHO will continue to provide the world with advice based on the most up-to-date evidence, as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions, and solidarity.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 1:59 AM | Link to this Post

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