At a daily press conference held in Geneva yesterday, the head of the organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made the announcement based on the latest research findings according to foreign media reports.
WHO states that general public should wear cloth masks made from at least three layers of fabric “on public transport, in shops, or in other confined or crowded environments”
A person showing the symptoms of COVID-19 should wear a surgical mask apart from self-isolating and seeking medical advice.
It also says people over 60 or with preexisting conditions should wear medcial masks in areas where there’s community transmission of the coronavirus and physical distancing is impossible, and that all workers in clinical settings should wear medical masks in areas with widespread transmission
Further, in areas with widespread transmission, WHO advises medical masks (surgical or procedure masks that are flat or pleated) for all people working in clinical areas of a health facility and not just workers dealing with patients with COVID-19
With Covid-19, the rate of asymptomatic patients may be as high as 40 percent, requiring a shift in thinking about masks from protecting the wearer to protecting the community.
WHO has advised governments to encourage the general public to wear masks where there is a widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult such as while using public transport, in shops or other confined environments.