File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
Surgical masks, which are mostly produced in China, have run out of stock globally
At Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, US President Donald Trump endorsed scarves as a better option than masks.
While referring to the question of advising citizens to wear masks, Trump claimed that scarves with more thickness than masks are more effective against the coronavirus.
Surgical masks, which are mostly produced in China, have run out of stock globally. US is currently faces shortages of medical supplies, ventilators, and masks, as is rest of the infected world.
Exports of such items from China and South Korea have begun rapidly.
"In many cases the scarf is better; it's thicker. I mean you can -- depending on the material, it's thicker," the President said.
Additionally, Trump announced that his administration would soon release fresh recommendations regarding the usage of masks.
However, as CNN reported in a fact-check report, Trump’s claim of scarves providing better protection than masks is not endorsed by any global medical organisation or by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even though scarves are capable of providing protection, the CDC has clearly advised against using alternative masks, unless there are no alternatives available at all!
As per the CDC guidelines, people “might use homemade masks” along the lines of scarves, bandannas etc “for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort”.
Furthermore, the advisory claims that "caution should be exercised when considering this option". If possible, further protective gear like face shields should be used over these homemade alternatives.