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Is it really necessary to wear masks all the time?

Dr. Dinesh G
Space Doctor
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Hi @rocky , this is an excellent question! This has been a topic of discussion lately and guidelines have been revised after various experts weighed in. As it turns out, people that are well do not need to wear masks all the time. It is only recommended for people with flu symptoms to prevent droplet spread (e.g. coughing or sneezing) or those in close contact/ caring for people with flu symptoms (healthcare workers, caregivers).

This is consistent with the latest recommendations from the CDC (Link: as well as national bodies such as the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH, Link:
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I think the recommendation was made due to the limited supply of mask. However, wearing mask is very effective in capturing droplets from the wearer. If we only focus on this aspect of the mask, getting everyone to wear mask, especially when in an enclosed environment, can be an very effective at containing the outbreak. As the focus is to only stop the spreading of virus and not to protect the user, cloth mask is good enough. Of course, for health workers and cleaners, they should wear surgical mask or N95 grade mask.

Mask played an important role in helping South Korea, Hong Kong and Czech Republic to contain the outbreak.