The World Well being Group on Friday advisable that everybody put on masks in crowded areas “no matter the native epidemiological scenario, given the present unfold of the COVID-19 globally.”
“Masks are advisable following a latest publicity to COVID-19, when somebody has or suspects they’ve COVID-19, when somebody is at high-risk of extreme COVID-19, and for anybody in a crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated house,” the group stated in a press launch. “Beforehand, WHO suggestions have been based mostly on the epidemiological scenario.”
The replace comes because the extremely contagious omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 has been present in 38 nations and China is experiencing a COVID-19 surge that’s underreported.
Cartoons on the Coronavirus
Whereas international COVID-19 instances and deaths decreased final week, WHO Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated at a press briefing on Wednesday that final week’s dying toll is “nearly actually an underestimate given the underreporting of COVID-related deaths in China.”
In the meantime, WHO stated in a report this week that XBB.1.5 is threatening to drive a worldwide improve in coronavirus instances.
“Primarily based on its genetic traits and early development price estimates, XBB.1.5 might contribute to will increase in case incidence globally,” the group stated in its evaluation. However it famous that development benefit estimates are solely from the U.S., so it rated its confidence within the evaluation as “low.”
Earlier this week, WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, stated that vacationers ought to be suggested to put on masks in high-risk settings like long-haul flights given the unfold of XBB.1.5.
“This ought to be a advice issued to passengers arriving from anyplace the place there’s widespread COVID-19 transmission,” Smallwood stated.