Face masks should be prioritized for at-risk groups: vice president

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/30/2020
By: Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and Chiang Yi-ching

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) In the wake of recent reports of face mask shortages at convenience stores in Taiwan, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), an epidemiologist by training, said Thursday that for the average person, wearing a surgical face mask is not entirely necessary to prevent contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

For people with no symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and fever, whether a mask is necessary depends on how likely they are to be exposed to the virus, which in Taiwan can be divided into three scenarios, Chen told reporters.

The first is in patients who have tested positive for the virus, Chen said, adding that as these individuals have been isolated in hospitals, they can no longer spread the virus to others.

The virus can also be passed on by those who have contracted it but not yet displayed any symptoms, Chen said.    [FULL  STORY]

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