By Spy Uganda.
World health organisation has finally changed its mind on use of face masks and recommended people to use them where social distancing is impossible after it had previously said there was no evidence face masks worked.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the change in recommendation on 5th/June/2020 Friday, saying the organisation is now recommending people to wear masks in areas where there is widespread of COVID-19 transmission.
He said people should wear them in places such as public transport or shops, where social distancing is not possible.People over the age of 60 or those with underlying medical conditions should specifically wear a medical mask where social distancing cannot be maintained, he added.
Previously, the WHO only recommended healthcare workers, those with COVID-19 and their care givers wear masks.
“Widespread use of face masks is still not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence however they are better than nothing since vaccine is not yet found, the only solution can be social distancing and use of face masks.” Mr Tedros said .
Mr Tedros added that a growing amount of observational evidence from several countries who are recommending the use of face masks, plus the difficulty of social distancing in many settings, is enough for WHO to change its advice.
He emphasized that masks on their own will not protect people from getting COVID-19 and hand washing, social distancing and other measures are still important.
The director-general added that health workers in areas with widespread transmission should now wear medical masks in all areas of health facilities, not just where confirmed COVID-19 patients are.
Doctors working in cardiology or others wards, for example, should continue to wear a medical mask even if there are no known coronavirus patients, he said.
Evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) previously confirmed face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission if you are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.