The World Well being Group on Friday really useful that everybody put on masks in crowded areas “no matter the native epidemiological state of affairs, given the present unfold of the COVID-19 globally.”
“Masks are really useful 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 area ,” the group stated in a press launch. “Beforehand, WHO suggestions had been based mostly on the epidemiological state of affairs.”
The replace comes because the extremely contagious omicron subvariant XBB. 1.5 has been present in 38 international locations and China is experiencing a COVID-19 surge that’s underreported.
Cartoons on the Coronavirus
Whereas world COVID-19 circumstances and deaths decreased final week, WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated at a press briefing on Wednesday that final week’s dying toll is “most 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 enhance in coronavirus circumstances.
“Based mostly on its genetic traits and early development charge estimates, XBB. 1.5 could contribute to growing in case incidence globally,” the group stated in its evaluation. Nevertheless it famous that development benefit estimates are solely from the US, 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 needs to be suggested to put on masks in high-risk settings like long-haul flights given the unfold of XBB.1.5.
“This needs to be a advice issued to passengers arriving from wherever the place there’s widespread COVID-19 transmission,” Smallwood stated.