Top scientist of WHO warns: Wearing masks alone cannot protect

  28 August 2020    Read: 1004
Top scientist of WHO warns: Wearing masks alone cannot protect

A top scientist at the WHO has expressed concern over some people not maintaining physical distancing, warning that masks alone cannot protect against the spread of coronavirus.

Wearing masks alone is not enough to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the technical lead of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergency program has said, adding that people need to maintain a safe distance from others.

"We are seeing that people aren't really adhering to the physical distancing anymore," said Maria Van Kerkhove at a WHO press conference. " Even if you're wearing masks, you still need to try to do the physical distancing of at least 1 meter (6 feet) and even further if you can."

The WHO has laid out a list of measures to curb the spread transmission, including wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing, and washing hands regularly and thoroughly.

"So, it's not just masks alone. It's not just physical distancing alone. It's not just hand cleaning alone. Do it all," said Van Kerkhove.

Here's the most important recent developments from around the world:

Germany

The federal and state governments have mandated a 14-day home quarantine for all those returning from to Germany from high-risk areas. President of the German Medical Association Klaus Reinhardt has proposed that these travelers should be monitored by the police during their quarantine.

The president of an association of pediatricians in Germany called for masks to made mandatory for teachers in classrooms saying that it is not possible to maintain a safe distance in cramped classrooms.

In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, wearing masks in classes will no longer be mandatory for students at secondary schools from August 31. It will, however, still be compulsory in the school building outside classrooms.

Read more: Germany imposes tougher measures to curb coronavirus

Europe

The WHO's top official in Europe warned that the rising of infections among young people may spread to older people, leading to an increase in the number of deaths.

Europe has seen a rise in infections in the summer holiday season. The UN agency issued guidelines for hotels and related businesses, asking them to reduce occupancy rates to ensure social distancing. It also said that staff and guests should comply with the basic prevention measures.

Italy's daily infections rose again on Thursday, with many of the new cases being travelers returning from countries deemed high-risk.

Asia

South Korea has reported over 200 new cases for the third consecutive day. The country has seen a triple-digit rise in infection for the past 15 days. With 441 new cases on Thursday, it saw the biggest daily increase since March 7.

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention said most of the new cases are in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan region.

Bangladesh has approved a late-stage trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the country's health minister said.  The government signed off on the research a month after the state medical research agency had given ethical approval to the Phase III trial.

Ten members of a tribe in India's far off the Andaman Islands have tested positive for coronavirus, raising concerns about the safety of the group and other indigenous people in the remote archipelago.

Six of the 10 have recovered and are in home-quarantine, officials were quoted as saying by AFP news agency, while the rest are undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

Americas

New York's Museum of Modern Art reopened on Thursday after nearly six months. It is the first major museum in the city to reopen after the pandemic-forced shutdown.

MoMA saw only a few visitors who had reserved a time slot on the first day of its reopening.

US President Donald Trump is revealed that the federal government will purchase 150 million new COVID-19 test kits at the Republican National Convention.

The $5 rapid tests for coronavirus produced by Abbott Laboratories received authorization from the FDA earlier this week. The company said it will able to produce 50 million test kits per month starting September.


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