Has WHO Updated its Instructions on Wearing Masks as Al-Qahtani Claims?

2020-04-13 - 8:32 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Nothing has changed in the World Health Organization (WHO) data regarding wearing masks to prevent the Coronavirus infection, as a member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus has alluded to.

"At the start of confronting the Coronavirus, WHO did not recommend wearing masks because its global spread was concentrated in specific countries. However, WHO updated its instructions with the development of the virus," Al-Qahtani claimed.

The consultant of infectious diseases at the military hospital did not quote the alleged update in which WHO indicated that individuals were obliged to wear masks.

The World Health Organization published an update on its website on April 8, 2020 about confronting the Coronavirus and confirmed that it is not necessary for people to wear masks and stressed that only medical staff and patients should wear masks.

"Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19," it says.

"Disposable face masks can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely."

WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks.

"The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing," the organization states.

During a media briefing on April 6, the World Health Organization's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that masks should not be used within the package of preventive measures.

He added that medical masks should only be used by healthcare professionals, people who are sick, and their caretakers. 

These are the latest updates from the World Health Organization, the same as the information confirmed by Lt. Dr. Al-Qahtani at one of his previous press conferences, but what he said today is inaccurate. Perhaps his words came in defence of the mandatory sale of piles of masks owned by the entity he works for.

Arabic Version