WHO urges caution over removing face mask rules for vaccinated people

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Who Urges Caution Over Removing Face Mask Rules For Vaccinated People
The World Health Organization on Friday said local conditions needed to be taken into account if a country is planning to allow vaccinated people not to wear masks in public
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The World Health Organization on Friday said local conditions needed to be taken into account if a country is planning to allow vaccinated people not to wear masks in public.

"In the instance of a country that wishes to take away a mask mandate ... that should only be done in the context of considering both the intensity of transmission in the area and the level of vaccine coverage," WHO's top emergency expert, Mike Ryan, told a virtual briefing in Geneva.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday advised that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks outdoors and could avoid wearing them indoors in most places.

Donations

The WHO also urged rich countries to reconsider plans to vaccinate children and instead donate Covid-19 shots to the COVAX scheme, which distributes doses to poorer countries.

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WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said the second year of the pandemic was set to be more deadly than the first, with India a huge concern.

"I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to #COVAX," he told a virtual meeting in Geneva.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sounded the alarm over the rapid spread of the coronavirus through India's vast countryside on Friday, as the country's official tally of infections crossed 24 million and over 4,000 people died for the third straight day.

More than 160.71 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 3,477,379​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

The WHO said it is in touch with the United States about sharing vaccines with the international COVAX scheme.

"They recognise that sharing those doses may help ensure greater impact overall," Bruce Aylward, a senior WHO adviser, told a virtual briefing in Geneva. "They want to be ready when the doses are ready ... We're working in parallel." - Reuters

 

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