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Masks strongly advised for high-risk groups

Posted May. 02, 2022 08:00,   

Updated May. 02, 2022 08:00


Wearing of facial masks outdoors is no longer mandatory as of Monday, but health authorities have strongly advised wearing of masks outdoors for people at high risk for illness. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters and medical experts stressed the need for masks to be worn by the elderly above the age of 60, non-vaccinated population and immune deficient patients.

As of Sunday, there are 9.81 million among the elderly aged 60 or higher who have not been infected with COVID-19 (76.1% of the age group). Data shows that those above 60 accounted for 23.6% of new confirmed cases for the recent week (April 25- May 1). According to the U.K. Health Security Agency, the prevention effect of vaccines goes away after five months since the third vaccination. Most of the elderly received their third dose in December last year, which implies that the vaccination effect would be reduced by now.

Experts say that one should determine the wearing of masks depending on individual situations. “If you family member is at high-risk for COVID-19, it is advised that you continue to wear masks outdoors,” said Professor Kim Yoon of Medical Management Department at Seoul National University. “Use of health masks (rather than dental masks) is more desirable unless you do not have respiratory problems,” advised Professor Choi Won-seok of Infectious Diseases Department at Korea University.

Health authorities strongly advise the use of masks to prevent the spread of the disease when one experiences fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Masks are also recommended when it is difficult to apply physical distancing of more than one meter outdoors or when engaged in activities that incur droplets, such as physical exercise or shouting.

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