Coronavirus: Masks should not be compulsory, WHO advise

A World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson has said that all countries need to ramp up their Covid-19 testing and contact tracing
Coronavirus: Masks should not be compulsory, WHO advise

A World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson has said that all countries need to ramp up their Covid-19 testing and contact tracing as they are essential parts of the puzzle of coping with the virus.

Dr Margaret Harris said that masks were not the chief protection against the virus and the WHO had not said that they should be compulsory.

Covid-19 can continue to do “very, very bad things to us” if the public does not heed the warnings the virus has sent, she added, speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today programme, in response to a question about research conducted for the Department of Health which indicated that 43% of the Irish population believed that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

While staying at home was important, everyone would now have to learn to live in a new way that stops the virus from causing harm.

Good overall hygiene, proper hand washing and social distancing continued to be important methods of protection, she said.

When asked about the UK’s plans to reopen schools before the summer holidays, Dr Harris said she could not comment as she was not fully aware of the plans.

The WHO had issued clear guidelines for school ahead of any re-opening plans including measures such as well-ventilated rooms, adequate facilities to allow for social distancing and even classes being held outdoors.

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