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Fact Check: No, WHO Didn’t Say There Is No Need To Wear A Mask

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: February 8, 2021

New Delhi (Vishvas News): A post going viral on social media claims that WHO said on Jan. 22, 2021 that there is no scientific reason for a healthy person to wear a mask outside the hospital. The post also carries a link to the blog posted on Jan. 25, 2021 headlined: “WHO now saying you do not need to wear a mask.”

Vishvas News investigated and found the viral post to be fake. According to WHO spokesperson, their mask guidance is very clear on the many situations—both inside and outside of health care settings—in which people should wear masks. Also, Vishvas News didn’t find evidence to support the claim that the WHO said people don’t need to wear masks.

Claim

The post shared on Twitter by a user named Julia reads: “WHO now saying You do not need to Wear a Mask — Did You Know.” It also carried a link to the blog post headlined: “WHO now saying you do not need to wear a mask.”

The archived version of the Twitter post can be read here. The post is also viral on Facebook, check its archived version here.

Investigation

Vishvas News contacted Technical Officer, WHO Health Emergencies, SEARO regarding the viral post. She said: “This post is fake. Our mask guidance is very clear on the many situations—both inside and outside of health care settings—in which people should wear masks. In fact, we have issued special guidance related to masks.”

WHO’s mask guidance recommends making wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage, and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.

Nowhere did WHO asked people not to wear masks outside hospitals. In fact, in the website of WHO, there is a page on the usage of masks. As per WHO, “Masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives. Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive ‘Do it all!’ approach including physical distancing, avoiding crowded, closed and close-contact settings, good ventilation, cleaning hands, covering sneezes and coughs, and more. Depending on the type, masks can be used for either protection of healthy persons or to prevent onward transmission.”

In a news conference dated Jan 22, 2021, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of WHO said: “Masks are one aspect of control. One aspect of reducing the spread of this virus and they can’t be used alone.” 

She also advised people to take other approaches, such as maintaining physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene, in addition to mask-wearing.

The post has been shared on Twitter by a user named Julia. When we scanned the profile of the user we found that the user has 69 followers.

Conclusion

Vishvas News investigated and found the viral post to be fake. According to WHO spokesperson, their mask guidance is very clear on the many situations—both inside and outside of health care settings—in which people should wear masks. Also, Vishvas News didn’t find evidence to support the claim that the WHO said people don’t need to wear masks.

Disclaimer: The #CoronavirusFacts database records fact-checks published since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its consequences are constantly evolving and data that was accurate weeks or even days ago might have changed. Remember to check the date when the fact-check you are reading was published before sharing it.

  • Claim Review : WHO now saying You do not need to Wear a Mask — Did You Know
  • Claimed By : Twitter user: Julia
  • Fact Check : False
False
    Symbols that define nature of fake news
  • True
  • Misleading
  • False

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