WHO encourages masks where virus widespread - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

WHO encourages masks where virus widespread

2020-06-06 HKT 00:19
Share this story facebook
  • WHO encourages masks where virus widespread
The World Health Organisation on Friday updated guidance on wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging their use in crowded situations in places where the coronavirus is widespread.

As the deadly virus continues to spread, the WHO changed its stance on who should wear a mask, when it should be worn and what it should be made of.

"Governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"In areas with community transmission, we advise 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 WHO also issued new guidance on the composition of non-medical fabric masks, advising that they should consist of at least three layers of different material.

But Tedros stressed that masks were only one part of an effective strategy to suppress the virus and could lead people into a false sense of security.

He said they were not a replacement for physical distancing and hand hygiene.

"Masks alone will not protect you from Covid-19," he told a virtual news conference.

"Find, isolate, test and care for every case, and to trace and quarantine every contact. That is what we know works. That is every country's best defence against Covid-19."

The coronavirus has infected at least 6.6 million people and killed more than 390,000 since the outbreak first emerged in China last December. (AFP)