X

Fact Check: Outdated screenshot on usage of masks by WHO shared as recent, viral post is misleading

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: September 7, 2020

New Delhi (Vishvas News): A post doing rounds on social media shows a screenshot with the logo of World Health Organization (WHO). The post claims that, as per WHO, masks should only be used by healthcare workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms like cough and fever. When Vishvas News investigated we found the claim to be misleading. This is outdated guidance that has since been changed. WHO has advised that ‘medical masks’ should be used by healthcare workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with COVID-related symptoms. If there is widespread community transmission, and especially in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, WHO stated in its recent advisory that governments should encourage the general public to wear a fabric mask. WHO also provides details on the composition of a fabric mask and how to safely wear one.

Claim

A post shared on Facebook by a user named चंदन आर्य (Chandan Arya) shows a screenshot with the logo of World Health Organization (WHO). The post claims that, as per WHO, masks should only be used by healthcare workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms like cough and fever. The archived version of the post can be checked here.

Investigation

Vishvas News contacted the Technical Officer at WHO Health Emergencies, SEARO who said: WHO’s guidance on mask use is clearly stated on our website. WHO recommends the use of MEDICAL masks for health workers, people who are sick and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, anyone taking care of a person at home who is sick with COVID-19. WHO advises that governments should encourage the use of non-medical fabric masks, which can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others where there are many cases of COVID-19, for people in the general public where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible – such as, on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.

She also shared some important links of advisories issued by WHO on masks.

According to WHO, governments are advised to encourage the use of non-medical fabric masks, which can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others where there are many cases of COVID-19, for people in the general public where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible – such as, on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.

Masks can be categorised as medical masks or non-medical / fabric masks. WHO’s guidance provides specific considerations for the use of non-medical masks, also known as fabric masks, by people as a means for source control in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suggests that people who are not suffering from medical conditions or having breathing difficulties may use the handmade reusable face cover, particularly when they step out of their house. This will help in protecting the community at large.

The old guidance was on the WHO’s website in March 2020. Dr. Baller’s video published in February 2020 on usage of masks can be seen here

In June 2020, the World Health Organization updated its guidance, which now recommends that the public wear fabric masks in areas where there is community transmission and where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Fox News also stated in its report that WHO has changed its guidance on masks. Here’s the link of the report

The post is shared on Facebook by a user named चंदन आर्य (Chandan Arya). When we scanned the profile of the user we found that the user is based out of Delhi.

Conclusion

Outdated screenshot on usage of masks by WHO going viral as recent.
The viral screenshot is misleading.

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 : Masks should only be used by healthcare workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms like cough and fever: WHO
  • Claimed By : FB user: चंदन आर्य (Chandan Arya)
  • Fact Check : Misleading
Misleading
    Symbols that define nature of fake news
  • True
  • Misleading
  • False

Know the truth! If you have any doubts about any information or a rumor, do let us know!

Knowing the truth is your right. If you feel any information is doubtful and it can impact the society or nation, send it to us by any of the sources mentioned below.

Tags

RELATED ARTICLES

Post saved! You can read it later