Covid-19: Who can wear a Mask and When and How to Wear a Mask

There is so much debate ongoing about the role of Face Mask in combating Coronavirus. W.H.O. and CDC recommend wearing a mask only if you are sick or caring for people suspected to have the coronavirus. This article would shed more light on who really needs the Face Mask during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is not uncommon to see people on the streets wearing surgical mask, but these masks are not recommended for the general public because:

  • They can be contaminated by other people’s coughs and sneezes or when putting them on or removing them
  • Frequent hand-washing and social distancing are more effective
  • They might offer a false sense of security

Coronavirus is spread by droplets that can spray into the air when those infected talk, cough and sneeze. These can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object. But if these people wear masks, these droplets may be curtailed.

The WHO, and the UK government, currently advise that face masks do not play a major role in protecting people from infection outside healthcare settings. But there are growing calls for this stance to be reviewed, with suggestions that the widespread use of face masks may have played a role in containing outbreaks in some Asian countries.

Speaking at a Chatham House briefing on Wednesday, Prof David Heymann, an infectious disease expert who led the global response to the SARS outbreak, said that new evidence from Hong Kong had prompted a reconsideration of the role of face masks. “The WHO is debating that tomorrow to understand if there is evidence that would call for a change in what WHO is recommending,” he said.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also said to be reviewing its guidance on masks and may advise Americans to cover their faces while commuting to work. And in a recent interview, George Gao, the director general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suggested the failure to wear masks in the US and Europe was a “big mistake”.

The N95 mask has proven to be more efficient in keeping us safe from the virus. We would keep you updated as experts are exploring whether the general public might benefit from wearing masks. Stay safe.

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