“Sun masks do not protect”

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“I would like to be very clear: today we publish the update of our guide on the use of masks reiterating what we have been saying for months: these devices should be used always and only as part of a global strategy. By themselves, they do not protect us from Covid- 19 “. This was stated by the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference in Geneva.

“The WHO – he explained – continues to recommend that people with Covid-19 symptoms stay at home and consult their doctor. People who have a confirmed infection should be isolated and treated in a healthcare facility and their contacts. they should be quarantined. If it is absolutely necessary for a sick person or contact to leave the house, they should wear a mask. WHO continues to advise people who care for an infected person at home to wear a mask while they are in the same room as the sick person. ”

“Masks – he continued – can also create a false sense of security, leading people to neglect measures such as hand hygiene and physical removal.”

“I will never say it clearly enough – he added – sun masks do not protect against Covid-19 and do not replace spacing, hand hygiene and other public health measures. They are only useful in the context of a global approach” .

And again: “In light of the evolving evidence, WHO advises the governments of countries where there is widespread transmission of the virus and when physical removal is difficult, to encourage the general public to wear masks, for example on transport. public, in stores or other confined or crowded environments. ”

“In the areas of diffuse transmission – continued the DG – the WHO recommends masks to all the people who work in the clinical areas of a healthcare facility, not just the workers who deal with patients with Covid-19. This means, to example, that when a doctor makes a department tour in cardiology or in a palliative care unit where there are no confirmed Covid-19 patients, he should still wear a mask. ”

Furthermore, “in areas with community transmission, it is recommended that the ‘over 60’ and the chronically ill wear a mask in situations where physical removal is not possible”. Finally, the WHO has recommended that “the masks in fabric must consist of at least three layers of different material. The details on which materials we recommend for each layer are contained in the guidelines to be published”, concluded Tedros.

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