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The World Health Organization has issued guidelines that children 12 years of age or older should wear face masks, in line with measures related to adults in their countries or regions in which they live to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
The organization acknowledged the limited information available on how children transmit the virus, but it indicated evidence showing that adolescents transmit the infection in the same way that adults transmit it.
The organization said that children under the age of five are not required to wear face masks under normal circumstances.
So far, more than 800,000 people around the world have died from infection with the Coronavirus.
23 million cases were recorded worldwide, most of them in the United States, Brazil and India, according to Johns Hopkins University.
It is believed that the actual number of cases is much higher, due to the lack of tests as well as the presence of asymptomatic cases.
There is a new increase in the number of cases in various regions, including Lebanon, South Korea and European countries.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that he hopes the epidemic will end within two years, but one of Britain’s top scientific advisers warned that the virus may not be eliminated at all.
What does the WHO guidelines for children include?
The organization published on its website advice for three age groups:
- Children 12 years of age or older: They must wear face masks under the same conditions that apply to adults, especially in the absence of ensuring the possibility of maintaining a distance of at least a meter from others, and in areas where the disease is widespread.
- Children between 6 and 11 years old: The organization recommends taking into account the speed and magnitude of virus transmission where they live, even if they are in contact with adults from the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly. The organization notes the need for adult supervision to help children wear and remove masks in a safe manner.
- Children 5 years or younger: They do not normally need to wear masks.
Regarding teachers, the organization said, “In areas where there is a high prevalence (of the disease), adults under the age of 60 and who are generally in good health should wear a cloth mask if they are unable to maintain a distance of at least one meter. about others”.
“This is especially important for adults who work with children, who may come into close contact with or with the children.”
The World Health Organization says that those aged 60 years or older, and those who suffer from health problems, must wear medical masks.
The organization did not specify whether children over 12 years old should wear face masks in schools.
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