No need to wear masks unless you are sick or caring for coronavirus patients, says WHO
GENEVA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday reiterated its advice to people to not wear face masks if they were either not infected by the coronavirus or not caring for a COVID-19 patient.
In a media briefing, the WHO emergencies program executive director Dr Mike Ryan said there was “no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit”. “In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” he added. “There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage.”
Dr Ryan, a former trauma surgeon who has worked very closely with patients during Ebola outbreaks, stressed that people most at risk were those working at the frontline. “Frontline health workers […] are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific,” he added.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove — an infectious disease expert and the WHO top official’s colleague — echoed Dr Ryan’s comments, saying it was crucial to “prioritize the use of masks for those who need it most”. - Agencies