The World Health Organization has changed its advice when it comes to wearing facemasks. They say the masks should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible, and that they could help to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The WHO now says there is new information showing masks can provide “”a barrier for potentially infectious droplets”. In the past, they had argued there was not enough information or evidence to say that even healthy people should wear the masks, despite many countries mandating and recommending the use of face coverings in public.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that “in light of evolving evidence, the WHO advises that 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”.
New studies over recent weeks have convinced them to now advise people to wear “fabric mask – that is, a non-medical mask”, wherein a fabric mask is “at least three layers of different material”. This does not apply to older people however, as they recommend anyone over 60 years of age should be wearing a medical mask.
For the past few months, the WHO has said that masks would “encourage a false sense of security and would deprive medical professionals of badly needed protective equipment.” But they are now saying, where social distancing is not possible, it is important to be wearing a mask.
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