Do not wear a mask while exercising, says WHO
Wearing a mask during exercise can make breathing difficult. (Getty Images)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked people not to wear a mask during exercise to ward off the coronavirus.
Face coverings are mandatory for public transport in England, while hospital staff must wear medical-grade masks.
The advice about masks is a bit confused. The WHO initially said that there are no evidence masks to ward off a viral respiratory infection like the coronavirus, but it could prevent patients from passing it on.
Since then, it has updated its guidelines, claiming that face coverings could “be a barrier to potentially infectious droplets”.
While masks are generally considered useful or at least harmless, the WHO has warned that they should not be worn during exercise.
Exercise has known benefits for physical and mental health.
At the beginning of the closure, the British were not allowed to leave their home for "very limited purposes", which included walking, jogging or cycling.
The advice has always been to keep a safe distance from passers-by, but never wear a mask, even if you have a telltale coronavirus symptom - fever, cough, or loss of taste or smell.
Britons with a fever, cough or loss of senses are allowed to leave the house to keep their social distance.
The WHO has now warned that putting on a mask during the activity can make breathing difficult.
It recognizes laborious breaths as a "serious symptom" of the coronavirus.
If you have difficulty breathing, wearing a mask during the activity can make the existing symptom worse.
The WHO has warned that sweat can also wet a mask, further restrict breathing and promote the growth of microorganisms.
Exposure to microorganisms can trigger an infection that has nothing to do with the coronavirus.
Experts have previously pointed out that masks are less effective against moist viruses, since we all have moisture in our breath.
Since the gyms are closed for the time being, people have to exercise in their home, garden or public space.
After monitoring the contacts of 110 coronavirus patients, scientists at Hokkaido University in Japan found that the risk of transmission of the infection was almost 19 times higher inside than outside.
That said, breathing heavily during exercise can support the transmission of coronaviruses, which makes social distancing all the more important.
Indoors, masks are recommended for people over 60 or people with underlying health problems.
People with coronavirus symptoms and people who take care of them are also advised to use this additional protection.
For all others, the WHO recommends a fabric cover made of “at least three layers of different materials” if you are traveling in a confined space.
Official instructions say that you can be homemade from an old T-shirt.
These covers should be combined with other preventive measures such as regular hand washing.
People wear masks while dancing in Wuhan, China. (Getty Images)
What is the corona virus?
The corona virus is one of seven strains of a virus class that are known to infect humans.
Others cause everything from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which killed 774 people at the outbreak of 2002/03.
Since the coronavirus outbreak was identified in late 2019, more than 8.3 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
As is known, over 4.1 million of these cases have recovered.
The number of fatalities worldwide has exceeded 449,600.
The corona virus spreads mainly face to face through infected droplets that are expelled by coughing or sneezing.
There is also evidence that it is transferred in the feces and can survive on surfaces.
Mild cases of infection have no "fixed" treatment, and most patients naturally ward them off.
Those who need to be hospitalized are given “supportive care” such as ventilation while their immune system is working.
The steroid dexamethasone is used in NHS hospitals to reduce the risk of death from ventilators or oxygen.
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