Health D-G: No Need for Masks if You’re Healthy

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Health DG stresses masks in public not obligatory for most, amid conflicting directives from authorities.

A healthy person need not wear a face mask, but must maintain social distancing during the Covid-19 outbreak, Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

He said the World Health Organisation’s advice is to only wear a mask when one has respiratory infection symptoms, or if taking care of Covid-19 patients and if working in a hospital environment.

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“Generally, social distancing is more than enough. It is not necessary to wear a mask (if you are healthy),” he said at the ministry’s daily press conference on Covid-19 updates.

Noor Hisham also stressed that this is only an advisory.

He was asked about complaints by people who said they were pressured to wear face masks when going out to shop for food and essential supplies under the movement-control order.

There has been a shortage of face masks for public use in retail pharmacies due to earlier panic-buying and hoarding by some.

A spike in global demand and the worldwide economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic have also caused the cost of materials to increase.

For the healthcare sector, Noor Hisham said new supply of masks and personal protective equipment has been obtained and is being distributed to all facilities. – TMI