Does WHO recommend routine wearing masks for healthy people during the COVID-19 outbreak?

No. WHO does not recommend that asymptomatic individuals (i.e., who do not have respiratory symptoms) in the community should wear medical masks, as currently there is no evidence that routine use of medical masks by healthy individuals prevents 2019-nCoV transmission. Masks are recommended to be used by symptomatic persons in the community. Misuse and overuse of medical masks may cause serious issues of shortage of stocks and lack of mask availability for those who actually need to wear them.

In health care facilities where health care workers are directly taking care of suspect or confirmed 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease patients, masks are an important part of containing 2019-nCoV spread between people, along with other PPE and hand hygiene.

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