The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has endorsed thewearing masks in public, both in people with symptoms thatthey already know that they are infected with Covid-19as in asymptomatic, mainly inclosed and crowded spacess, such as shops, shopping malls or public transport.
“Wearing face masks in public canserve as a means of control to reduce the spread of infection, by minimizing the excretion of respiratory drops from infected individuals who have not yet developed symptoms or who remain asymptomatic, “they detail in a new report, in which, in any case, they point out that” it is not known to what extent the use of masks in the community can help reduce transmission. “
On the type of masks, they guarantee thatyou could use those “made of various textiles”. “Especially if, due to supply problems, medical masks should be given priority for use as personal protective equipment by health professionals,” they point out.
The EDCD clarifies thatface masks should be used “only as a supplemental measure and not as a substitute”preventive measures such as social distancing, meticulous hand hygiene and avoiding contact with the face, nose, eyes and mouth. “The proper use of masks is essential for the effectiveness of the measure and can be improved through education campaigns,” they emphasize.
Finally, they insist that the recommendations on the use of masks in public “must carefully take into account the lack of scientific evidence, the supply situation and possible negative side effects.”
The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reiterated last Monday at a press conference that the use of medical masks is only recommended in the general population in the case of sick people or who care for a patient in his house. Thus, he asked that priority be given to access to this type of mask for health professionals in the first line against the coronavirus.
“We know they can help protect toilets, but they are rare worldwide. We are concerned that the massive use of masks by the general population may exacerbate the shortage for those who need them most. In some places, this shortage is putting toilets in real danger, “he warned.
The WHO leader explained thatmedical centers continue to recommend the use of medical masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals. In the case of the general population, they indicate that they could be used in those countries where other measures against Covid-19 are not available, such as hand cleaning and social distancing, due to the lack of water, for example.
“What is clear is thatthere is limited research in this areaWe encourage countries that are considering the use of face masks for the general population to study their effectiveness so that we can all learn. Most importantly, they should only be used as part of a comprehensive package of interventions, “claimed Tedros.
In addition, the WHO published this Thursday areport on the rational use of personal protective equipment(EPI), in which, among other considerations, it warns that cotton masks can be a potential source of infection, since they are not resistant to fluids and, therefore, can retain moisture and become contaminated.