Countries should take into account vaccine coverage and local infection rate [do vírus que provoca a covid-19] “Before a decision is taken to withdraw these measures,” Michael Ryan, director of the World Health Organization’s emergency program, said at a news conference.
The United States announced Thursday that it will end the mandatory use of face masks for people who have been vaccinated, including in some closed environments, due to the positive development in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, a change welcomed by President Joe Biden.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor environments.
However, the use of masks in crowded closed environments, such as buses, airplanes, hospitals or prisons, is still sought after.
At today’s press conference, held digitally from the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Michael Ryan stated that vaccines against Covid-19 disease protect against the most dangerous diseases, but there is still no “significant evidence of the vaccinated person’s ability to infect other people.”
In light of this, countries intending to remove the obligation to wear a mask should only do so “taking into account the severity of transmission in this region, and at the same time, the level of vaccination coverage,” said the World Health Organization responsible for emergency programs, without referring specifically to United State.
For epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, who is the technical lead for the WHO response to COVID-19, the national authorities ’decision to waive mask use must always be evaluated“ in the context ”of each country, but also on the basis of the level of vaccination achieved.
“We are not out of danger yet. The epidemiologist has warned that there are still a lot of uncertainties due to the variables and we must do everything we can to prevent further infection and save lives.”