Hyderabad: Face masks have now become a part of our everyday life. More than 50 countries, including India, have made it mandatory for people to wear face masks while out in public spaces. Fines are imposed on those caught without masks.

A Facebook user recently shared a screenshot of a Fox News report on WHO guidelines that said face masks should be used by health care workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms like a fever and cough. "As of the last 24 hours, this is the protocol regarding masks - BAM! Spread the word!" the user wrote.

The post has been shared over a thousand times.

Archive of the link can be found here.

Fact Check:

These are outdated WHO guidelines and hence the claim is FALSE.

As of August 2020, the WHO has issued guidelines saying that people should wear fabric masks in areas where there is community transmission and where social distancing cannot be maintained.

According to experts, a cloth face mask will slow down or control the spread of COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a cloth mask does not protect the wearer from exposure to the virus. Its main aim is to contain the spread of respiratory droplets and prevent those who may have the virus from spreading it to others.

Hence, the WHO guidelines stating that health care workers, caretakers, or by people who have symptoms like a fever and cough should wear masks were issued in February 2020 and not in the past 24 hours. Hence, the claim is FALSE.

This fact check has been published as part of the Internews Information Saves Lives: Rapid Response Fund project to NewsMeter

Claim Review :   WHO guidelines on wearing face masks
Claimed By :  social media users
Fact Check :  False

Mounika Dasari

Mounika Dasari is currently working as a Freelance Fact checker at Newsmeter. She was also an independent contractor at Appen. She has previously worked with Manshuk Securities and Finance as a Derivative Trainee in Delhi. She has work experience of 18 months with Geojit Financial Services as an Equity Dealer in Hyderabad. She has certifications of NISM series V, NISM Series VII, and NISM Series VIII. Alumni from IILM Graduate School of Management in Finance, U.P. Alumni from FH-Dortmund University of applied science and arts in Managing Diverse Markets, Germany. Mounika loves to travel and has been to countries like Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Switzerland.

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