Newsdeck

COVID-19

WHO says children aged 12 and over should wear masks like adults

WHO says children aged 12 and over should wear masks like adults
epaselect epa08412751 A child wearing a protective face mask rides a skateboard at Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul, South Korea, 10 May 2020, the first Sunday since the government eased its social distancing measures over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. EPA-EFE/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

ZURICH, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach.

Children aged 12 and over should particularly wear a mask when a one-metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed and there is widespread transmission in the area, the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a document on the WHO website dated Aug. 21.

Whether children between six and 11 should wear masks depends on a number of factors, including the intensity of transmission in the area, the child’s ability to use the mask, access to masks and adequate adult supervision, the two organisations said.

The potential impact on learning and psycho-social development, and the interactions the child has with people at high risk of developing serious illness, should also play a role.

Children aged five years and under should not be required to wear masks based on the safety and overall interest of the child, the WHO and UNICEF said.

Studies suggest older children potentially play a more active role in transmission of the new coronavirus than younger children, the WHO and UNICEF said, adding more data was needed to better understand the role of children and adolescents in the transmission of the virus, which causes COVID-19.

The WHO first advised people to wear masks in public on June 5 to help reduce the spread of the disease, but had previously not issued specific guidance for children.

More than 23 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally since it was first identified in China last year and 798,997​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz, additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Mark Potter)

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.