GENEVA | The masks alone are not “the miracle solution” to the pandemic of Covid-19, and their widespread use in the population is justified only if other measures barrier are impossible or difficult to implement, said Monday the boss of WHO.
“There is no answer binary, no miracle solution. The masks alone cannot stem the spread of the pandemic COVID19,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a virtual press conference from Geneva.
In addition to that their use must be reserved to health professionals in a context of scarcity, it can be “justified” among the population if other measures such as hand washing and distancing physics are limited by the lack of water or the high population density, he added.
LISTEN to the analysis from the point of release by Vincent Dessureault, on QUB radio:
The pop diva american Lady Gaga came in live during the press conference to announce a concert broadcast on television and online on April 18 under the banner “One World: Together in the home”, “support to health professionals on the front line” of the fight against the new coronavirus.
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Since its appearance in December in China, the pandemic of COVID-19 has done more than 70 000 deaths in the world, including 50,000 in Europe. 1.25 million cases have been reported in total on the planet.
The United States have taken Monday the bar of 10 000 people dead, France accounts for nearly 9,000 deaths. Unemployment, bankruptcies and recession threaten in dozens of countries confined where the economy is at a standstill.
Caution to WHO
The debate on the wearing of the mask is amplified in many western countries under the pressure of an increasing part of the population that does not understand why they would protect the nurses, but not ordinary citizens.
Seen from Asia, where surgical masks are ubiquitous, the delay of the western countries is an aberration. But the health authorities in the United States or in France, as well as the WHO, argued until now that the mask was not needed for healthy people, unless they were in contact with sick people.
Of the studies cited by the u.s. Academies of science seem to be converging towards the hypothesis of a possible transmission of the virus through the air, between people who speak or breathe, and not just by the droplets and spatters projected during a sneeze or surfaces.
The WHO has referred to recently on this hypothesis, but remains cautious.
The COVID-19 “is first transmitted between people by droplets and close contact with sick people or contaminated surfaces,” said Sunday to the AFP, the WHO, the droplet is too large to be airborne for a long time”.
President Donald Trump announced Friday evening that it was now officially advised the Americans to cover the face out of their homes, to help curb the contagion.
The health authorities call on the population to cover the face with masks crafts, scarves or bandanas, in order to book the medical masks to the caregivers.
In France, the track of a déconfinement progressive made its way, through a mass screening, the isolation of the frail and the generalization of a mask.