Coronavirus: WHO issues stricter mask guidelines

Mayank Aggarwal
·2-min read
<p>A file image of environmental activists wearing protective face masks and practicing social distancing guidelines during a protest in Madrid in September 2020</p> (Getty Images)

A file image of environmental activists wearing protective face masks and practicing social distancing guidelines during a protest in Madrid in September 2020

(Getty Images)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new mask guidelines advising people in areas where coronavirus is still spreading to wear a non-medical mask whether they are indoor in shops, shared workplaces and schools or outdoor where people are unable to physically distance.

It said that “individuals/people with higher risk of severe complications from Covid-19”, which is people more than 60-years-old and those with medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease or immunosuppression, should “wear medical masks when physical distancing of at least one metre cannot be maintained.”

It also asked the children over 12 years of age to wear masks. The update to the WHO’s June 2020 guidelines was issued on Tuesday.

The global health agency said, “if indoors, unless ventilation has been assessed to be adequate general public should wear a non-medical mask, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least one metre can be maintained.”

Globally, since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, about 63.36 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed including 1.47 million deaths.

And the cases continue to rise as since mid-October every week millions of Covid-19 cases have been recorded. Several countries in Europe are witnessing a second wave of the pandemic forcing several governments to announce fresh national lockdowns.

The United States, which is on the top of the global list in terms of the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths, has not announced a new nationwide lockdown even as it continues to record close to 150,000 cases every day. At present, the US has recorded over 13.38 million cases including 266,000 deaths.

The global health body also advised about the correct use of masks asking people to take care of health hygiene before putting on the mask, to not use a damaged mask, to not share them with others and to avoid touching the mask while wearing it.

WHO asked people to replace the mask as soon as it becomes damp with a new clean and dry mask and wash fabric masks in soap or detergent in preferably hot water at least once a day.

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