Children aged 12 and older should wear masks, says WHO
This is the first time WHO has issued specific guidance for children
August 23, 2020 / 12:47 PM IST
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Children aged 12 and older should wear masks like adults while those aged 6-11 should wear them on a “risk-based approach”, the World Health Organisation has said.
Risk-based approach includes considerations such as intensity of transmission in the area, the child's ability to use masks, access to masks, adequate adult supervision, potential impact on learning and psycho-social development and interactions with people at high risk of developing serious illness, the organisation said in a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) document uploaded on August 21.
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This will help tackle spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it stated, adding that studies showed that older children play a potentially more active role in transmission of the virus. It did however acknowledge that “more data was needed to better understand the role of children and adolescents.”
The recommendation further states that children aged 12 and above should “particularly wear a mask when a one-metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed and there is widespread transmission in the area” and that children under 5 years of age should not be required to wear masks for “safety and overall interest of the child.”
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This is the first time WHO has issued specific guidance for children. It had started advising people to wear masks in public on June 5 to help reduce the spread of the disease.
So far, India has recorded 3,044,940 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 56,706 deaths. Globally, there have been over 2.30 crore confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 7.98 lakh people have died so far.
(With inputs from Reuters)Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here