Coronavirus (20) Use of masks

30 March, 2020

Dear Susan, [Susan Chisela, Zambia]

Regarding the gloves and masks for the shop staffs, the WHO advice, which says: 'Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.' Also says that 'If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection or wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.' Here the Advice on the use of masks:

I think it's also important to note that the use of masks is controversial and different countries have different policies and opinions. For example, George Gao, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says that in his opinion 'the big mistake in the U.S. and Europe is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role - you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.'

See this link:


Yina Garcia-Lopez

HIFA profile: Yina Garcia Lopez has a PhD in Public Health, Miguel Hernᮤez University, Spain, and a BA in Social Communication and Journalism, The University of North, Colombia. She is currently based in Edinburgh, UK. yinaliz.garcia AT