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WHO Official Says 'Normal' People Doing 'Normal' Work Don't Need To Wear Masks

A World Health Organization representative clarified where it's appropriate to use masks.
PHOTO: Unsplash

In the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak from China, World Health Organization (WHO) country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said, “Normal people going about their normal work don’t need to wear surgical or N95 masks,” according to Inquirer.

It has become more common for people to wear surgical masks after the Taal Volcano eruption and amid the threat of the virus whose death toll has climbed to over 100 in China. 

However, the WHO official said people should only wear masks if they feel symptoms of a respiratory infection or if they’re going to crowded places like hospitals and wet markets.

With the demand for face masks rising worldwide, Department of Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo asked the public to reserve them for people who need it. “N95 masks and gloves are only recommended for those taking care of sick people… or those who are under investigation.” 

So far, there’s no confirmed case in the Philippines, though there have been false alarms and there are individuals under monitoring.


In China, the number of confirmed infections has reached 5,974 and the death toll now 132, according to GMA News Online. Around the world, cases have been confirmed in Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia, U.S., Canada, France, and Germany, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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