Encourage face masks to tide over the pandemic: WHO  


The World Health Organisation has asked the governments to encourage people to wear face masks in public places, shops, public transport and in other locations where social distancing is difficult.

However, the WHO warned that face mask alone will not protect people from the coronavirus. Warning against putting too much faith on masks, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus maintained that they were only part of a comprehensive strategy to defeat the disease.

“I cannot say this clearly enough: masks alone will not protect you from COVID-19. Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene and other public health measures, he said.

In the new guidelines, the WHO has given new information on the composition of fabric masks and other face coverings.  This was based on research commissioned by the UN agency.

The WHO said that masks should have three layers  — a cotton lining, a polyester outer layer and a middle filter of polypropylene or other non-woven material.

WHO epidemiologist Dr. Maria van Kerkhove said that these three layers in the combination will provide a mechanistic barrier. This would prevent those droplets going through and infecting someone else.

The World organisation also said that those who have COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and seek immediate medical help. It also said that people caring them should wear a medical mask when they are both in the same room. And these people should wear masks if they have to go out.

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