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Sri Lanka public free to go without a mask: health ministry

ECONOMYNEXT – Members of Sri Lanka’s public is free to go around without a mask, as there was no scientific basis for wearing one, the island’s Health Ministry has said, seeking police support to protect persons who are not wearing masks.

“There is no scientific basis for an ordinary member of the public to wear a mask,” Director General of Health Services Anil Jasinghe said in a letter to Sri Lanka’s police chief.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about mask use at this time and we seek your support to correct this.”

“Though the health ministry is not recommending the use of masks, if that is the wish of the person we do not wish to stop them,” the letter said.

“But if a healthy person is not wearing a mask, we are requesting that no harm comes to then as they are not doing anything wrong.”

The health ministry is now recommending that,

a) people who are suspected to be sick,
b) those who had come into contact with such a person,
c) those who are looking after sick people or
d) a person with symptoms of respiratory disease going to hospital, they should wear a mask.

Related

Why Sri Lanka does not advocate masks yet: touching it can get you Coronavirus

The health ministry said it is not recommending mask use now because,

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a) incorrect use may spread disease (touching or removing and putting it back may transfer germs in the hands to the mount or nose)
b) discarding used masks here and there and helping spread the disease
c) when a person really needs it (when they get sick or has to look after a sick person) they may not have it

(Colombo/Mar26/2020)

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