United States recommended all Americans to use non-medical masks as an additional public health measure on Friday, to fight the deadly coronavirus that has so far claimed the lives of more than 7,000 people in the country, fearing that the illness may be spreading by normal breathing.
“It’s going to be really a voluntary thing. You don’t have to do it and I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it and that’s okay,” said Trump while talking to reporters.
Trump asked people to keep medical-grade masks available for the health workers, and citing the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he urged Americans to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks.
The US President told reporters during a press briefing at the White House on Friday, that the CDC has recommended that people wear a basic cloth or fabric masks that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.
“The CDC is not recommending the use of medical-grade or surgical-grade masks. Those needs to be used for medical people working to save lives of Americans. Medical protective gear must be reserved for the front-line healthcare workers who are performing those vital services,” he said.
Trump also stressed upon that CDC’s guidance on social distancing, including staying at home when possible, standing at least 6 feet apart will stay in places such as grocery stores would last “for a period of time.” He also called for practicing hand hygiene.
Based on the new available data, CDC said the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity–for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing–even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
Research indicates “the virus can actually be spread even when people just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing,” news agency AFP quoted Anthony Fauci, who is leading the country’s scientific response, as saying.
Recently, Fauci, backed a scholarship that found SARS-CoV-2 can be suspended in the ultrafine mist formed when people exhale.
The new advisory came as the US reported the highest number of deaths in one day, in any country since the pandemic started with 1,480 fatalities breaking its own undistinguished record of 1,169 deaths from the previous day.
The deadly coronavirus has so far claimed the lives of over 7,000 people in the US and infected over 2,70,000 others.
(With inputs from agencies)