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WHO: No necessity for healthy people to wear face masks

Mar 31. 2020
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By THE NATION

“There is no specific evidence to suggest that wearing masks by the mass population has any potential benefit,” Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the health emergencies programme at the World Health Organisation, said on Monday (March 30).

“In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite, in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” he stated.

Ryan also mentioned the issue of a massive global shortage of masks and other medical supplies.

“Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers, who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific.”

WHO officials warned at a media briefing last week that globally there is a significant shortage of medical supplies, including personal protective gear, or PPE, for doctors. WHO did not criticise countries that recommend people to wear face masks, but emphasised on the negative effects of improper wear.

WHO’s recommendation is the opposite of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention director, who had said the US and Europe’s biggest mistake was not forcing people to wear face masks when leaving their homes.

As for Thailand, the Public Health Ministry has advised people to wear cloth face masks in public, which should be enough if you are not sick, as well as frequently wash your hands with water and soap to prevent germs and the virus from spreading.

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