Days after arguing that there is not adequate evidence healthy people must wear masks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that these should be worn to help stop the spread of coronavirus in public. The WHO said that new study shows the mask can act as “a barrier for potentially infectious droplets”.
“In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The people should wear a “fabric mask – that is, a non-medical mask” in high risk areas, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead expert on coronavirus, told global news agency Reuters. “We are advising governments to encourage the general public to wear a mask,” he added.
The shift in stance comes after WHO, for months, has been advocating against the efficacy of mask use. The news advisory is a news for those challenging the long-held stand by the WHO.
The number of coronavirus cases globally stands at 6,861,716. So far, 398,483 people have died from COVID-19. The last three coronavirus patients in Wuhan, the city where the pandemic originated, have been discharged. Now the city has zero cases of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has said that countries such as China and India may have many more cases than America if testing is increased.