Wearing a mask alone is never enough to protect a person from getting infected or spreading COVID-19. However, it complements measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing which are critical in preventing the virus transmission.
According to health authorities, medical masks like surgical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for health-care workers.
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WHO believes that the use of medical masks in the community may create a false sense of security, with a neglect of other essential measures like hygiene practices and physical distancing.
The Health Ministry of India had initially recommended that apart from health-care providers, only persons with symptoms and caregivers of people with suspected symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 needed to wear masks. But it recently made wearing masks mandatory.
Also read | Masks are mandatory for all now