Recently, an expert claimed that it wasn’t necessary to wear face masks despite the Wuhan novel coronavirus outbreak, with 8 cases in Malaysia already confirmed by the Ministry of Health. This has been confirmed by the Deputy Health Minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye, who explained that those who don’t display any symptoms of the virus need not wear face masks as the virus is still contained from spreading in Malaysia.
That said, the deputy minister warned that those with fever, cold, and cough should wear masks, while everyone should continue to take precautionary measures such as washing their hands often using soap and detergent.
“If they do not have symptoms, they do not have to wear the masks for protection. It is not necessarily effective against infection.”
“To avoid infection, what is most important is to wash the hands often, using soap and detergent. If you do not wear masks properly and touch your face, then there is a risk of infection,”
As discussed previously, it isn’t necessary to wear face masks at the moment, as there have been no cases of human-to-human transmissions of the Wuhan virus thus far in Malaysia—all confirmed cases have been Chinese nationals. However, you’ll still need to wear masks if you’re visiting China.
Dr Lee was addressing the calls of certain parties to make wearing face masks a compulsory requirement for the public, although the deputy minister was quick to brush off the idea:
“Do we need to cancel all assemblies, close down schools, cinemas, this will result in unwarranted panic.”
Panic, of course, hasn’t been made any better by the prevalence of fake news and false rumours on the Wuhan virus situation. At the present, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and Royal Malaysia Police have already issued warnings that spreading fake news could land you a fine of up RM100,000, and to date, 6 people have already been arrested.
In other news on the Wuhan virus situation, Apple has also shut down all of its stores and corporate offices in mainland China, following the footsteps of Google who also shut down its 4 offices in China recently. You can stay up to date on all of the latest developments on the Wuhan virus here.