- The consistent recommendation is that symptomatic individuals and health-care workers should use face masks.
- Face mask distribution should prioritize frontline health-care workers and vulnerable individuals (older than 65 years old and/or with health conditions)
- Reasons discouraging the widespread use of face masks in communities :
- Preserving supplies for professional health-care workers
- Face masks provide no effective protection against coronavirus infection
- Improper use of face mask can increase the risk of infection
This data comes from an article that compares the use of face masks as well as official recommendations on face mask use in different countries and organisations, such as WHO, China, Japan, USA, UK, Germany, etc.
Feng S., Shen C., Nan X., et al (March 20, 2020). Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30134-X