WHO Recommends Wearing Face Masks In What Critics See As Long-Overdue Acknowledgment
WHO has been hesitant to recommend wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the virus even as many countries adopted some kind of guidance on face coverings. Meanwhile, a scientist finds another reason to wear a mask: it helps ensure social distancing.
The New York Times:
W.H.O. Finally Endorses Masks To Prevent Coronavirus Transmission
Long after most nations urged their citizens to wear masks, and after months of hand-wringing about the quality of the evidence available, the World Health Organization on Friday endorsed the use of face masks by the public to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, surprisingly, the W.H.O. had refused to endorse masks. The announcement was long overdue, critics said, as masks are an easy and inexpensive preventive measure. (Mandavilli, 6/5)
Wear Masks In Public Says WHO, In Update Of COVID-19 Advice
“Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19,” the WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a briefing. The WHO’s technical lead expert on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said in a Reuters interview: “We are advising governments to encourage that the general public wear a mask. And we specify a fabric mask - that is, a non-medical mask. (Kelland, 6/5)
FDA Reverses, Says Some N95 Medical Masks From China Should Not Be Reused
Federal regulators on Sunday reversed course on how safe it is to clean and reuse the medical masks hospital and other frontline workers rely on to stay safe while treating COVID-19 patients. In a press release today, the Food and Drug Administration said that "in response to public health and safety concerns," it no longer approves of decontaminating and reusing some N95 respirators made in China. It did not say precisely which ones, but said Chinese masks "may vary in their design and performance." (Healy, 6/7)
The Washington Post:
Masks Don't Just Filter The Air, They Keep People Away
Massimo Marchiori, an Italian computer scientist, once used sensors to determine how the widths of shopping mall walkways shaped buying decisions. Another time he used GPS technology to track the movements of cows to see what behaviors led to the best milk. So when the novel coronavirus consumed Italy in February, Marchiori decided it was time for a new experiment — this time, on social distancing. (Timberg, 6/5)
The New York Times:
Japan's Coronavirus Numbers Are Low. Are Masks The Reason?
When the coronavirus arrived in Japan, people did what they normally do: They put on masks. Face coverings are nothing new here. During flu and hay fever seasons, trains are crowded with commuters half-hidden behind white surgical masks. Employees with colds, worried about the stigma of missing work, throw one on and soldier into the office. Masks are even used, my hairdresser once told me, by women who don’t want to bother putting on makeup. (Rich, 6/6)