The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned people that frequent hand washing can prevent the spread of coronavirus more effectively than using a facemask. The director of the WHO Health emergencies program, Michael Ryan has said that wearing surgical masks will be helpful for those people who are already suffering from respiratory illness. The WHO has also made its stand clear that people should avoid touching their face frequently and maintain distance from somebody coughing or sneezing. The officials have claimed that it will be sufficient if people make a habit of cleaning their hands with sanitizer or soap and water frequently or after touching random surfaces. They have said that keeping hand hygiene should be the prime focus to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
The WHO has recommended health workers to wear a specific type of masks, not the surgical masks used by the common people. These specific types of facemasks are called N-95 respirator masks. Health professionals can use these masks while treating patients with respiratory illnesses. N-95 respirator masks are worn along with other personal protective equipment. Healthcare workers need to undergo an exam, which ensures whether they know how to use these masks correctly. This test also makes sure health workers know how to remove their equipment to guard themselves after close contact with infected patients. The center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said every step and protective equipment is essential for such a level of protection.
Michael Ryan has warned that there is a shortage of N-95 respirator masks in the market. He has said that it is very important that if we are going through a shortage, we need to use these masks only for front line workers. He has asserted that right now we need to prioritize the use of masks for people who are taking care of patients at home and in the hospital. The WHO authorities have said that it is commendable how people are taking initiatives to protect their health; we are only advising them how to do it properly.