Coronavirus: Expert explains why facemasks won't protect you from Covid-19
4 March 2020, 17:35
Facemasks will not protect you from catching coronavirus, an expert from the World Health Organisation has told LBC.
Facemasks are becoming more commonplace in both the UK and around Europe after an outbreak of the killer virus in northern Italy.
But speaking to Nick Ferrari, Dr Margaret Harris from the WHO said the masks may protect other people from your germs - but won't protect you.
She said: "We don't recommend wearing a facemask unless you are coughing or sneezing a lot.
"People misunderstand the facemask. They think it is about protecting themselves, but it's actually about protecting others if you are producing a lot of respiratory droplets.
"One of the risks of the facemask is that people struggle to wear them for a long time. They're very uncomfortable.
"People tend to touch them a lot and if you touch your facemask when it's wet, then whatever respiratory bugs you've coughed out will go on to your hands and then you'll put it on other surfaces.
"So generally, no it's not necessary to wear a facemask."
The coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy appears to be spreading to other European countries. Austria, Croatia and Switzerland have now all reported their first cases.I
n the UK, more schools are closing as a precaution because their pupils had been on trips to Italy over half term