WHO updates the guideline for protective masks

WHO updates the guideline for protective masks and confirms that helmets are the inferior alternative to countering the spread of the coronavirus. The agency thus encourages people to wear protective masks in public places. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released an update of its mask wearing guidance for the first time in nearly six months. In the update, the health agency recommends wearing a mask as part of a “comprehensive package of preventive and control measures” to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”A mask alone, even when used correctly, is insufficient to provide adequate protection,” stated the December 1 guidelines. “Other infection prevention and control measures include hand hygiene, walking distance of at least 1 meter, avoiding touching the face, adequate indoor ventilation, testing, quarantine and isolation.”The Agency further concluded that depending on the type of mask used, it could “be used either to protect human health or to prevent further transmission (source control)”. The WHO recommends that anyone with a suspected or confirmed coronavirus wear a mask in the presence of others, and that their proper use, storage, cleaning and disposal are key to effectiveness.”In areas with higher SARS-CoV-2 presence, the WHO recommends that the general public wear a mask in shared workplaces, schools or outdoors where a distance of 1 meter cannot be kept,” the new guidelines state. “In confined spaces, unless ventilation has been assessed as adequate, WHO advises the general public to wear a mask, whether or not a distance of at least 1 meter may be kept.”In the case of children, the agency advises against using masks for people under 5 years of age.”


Children under the age of 5 should not wear masks to control the spread of the virus,” the WHO continues. “For children 6 to 11 years of age, the decision needs to be made based onthe potential risk of infection with the virus.”The Agency notes that the information on the transmission of the coronavirus is constantly evolving based on new research and shared data, and therefore the guidelines need to be revised and updated.The WHO has made it clear that helmets do not offer as much airway protection against the spread of the coronavirus as protective masks. In a situation where a person cannot use the mask or it is difficult for various reasons, e.g. health, the visor can be considered as an alternative.