THE World Health Organisation’s official guidance on whether people should wear face masks when they go out in public could be set to change.
WHO’s official line has been that face masks are only necessary for anyone looking after someone who has coronavirus, and that they should then be worn in conjunction with eye protection, or who themselves have symptoms to protect others from coughs or sneezes.
But a new study carried out in Hong Kong points to the possibility that wearing face masks in public could have benefits in preventing Covid-19 infection.
An international panel of WHO experts is assessing the evidence.
Panel chair Professor David Heymann is reported to have said in a Chatham House briefing that “there is right now a debate about the usefulness of masks because Hong Kong has provided some evidence that masks may be useful in protecting individuals from infection.”
Professor Heymann has however warned that there are issues surrounding face mask advice as people do not always wear them or dispose of them in the correct way.