In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, many were pretty confused about the need to wear face masks when they're in public places, the World Health Organization (WHO) did advise people to only wear masks when we're ill or having symptoms.
During a press briefing discussing the revised guidance, Tedros added that "masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19" and emphasized the importance of hand-washing, social distancing and other infection-prevention strategies.
World Health Organization also advised the people wear a medical mask, self-isolate, and seek medical advice as soon as they start to feel unwell with potential symptoms of Covid-19, even if symptoms are mild.
The UN agency's advice that all healthcare workers dealing with Covid-19 patients, or with suspected cases of the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, should wear medical masks remains the same, Van Kerkhove said.
The WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the body's position that masks alone would not protect people remained the same.
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WHO previously had recommended that only health care workers, people with COVID-19 and their caregivers wear medical masks, noting a global shortage of supplies.
"And we specify a fabric mask - that is, a non-medical mask".
"We have new research findings", said Dr Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead expert on Covid-19.
She said part of the reason for the widening of WHO's advice on face masks was the increasing evidence COVID-19 can be spread by people before they have symptoms.
He also warned against placing too much faith in masks.
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Meanwhile, wearing masks in crowded places was far from uncommon in parts of Asia even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, especially if people were ill.
However, the United Nations health body warns that masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene and other public health measures, and they are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID-19.
The Director-General also informed the public that the WHO's updated guidance contains new information on the composition of fabric masks based on academic research requested by the organisation.
"They should be tested, their contact should be identified and they should be in quarantine". "Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19", World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded reporters during the Friday briefing. "WHO continues to advise that people caring for an infected person at home should wear a medical mask while they are in the same room as a sick person", said Tedros. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online.
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