KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): The use of face masks should be coupled with regular handwashing and maintaining safe physical distancing of at least one metre, said health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He explained that there are two types of face masks that can be used to prevent the spread of Covid-19, namely the medical and non-medical.
“Medical face masks such as the three-ply surgical face mask is used by health workers, the general public with respiratory symptoms, high-risk groups such as the elderly (those aged 60 and above) and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
“The non-medical face masks are recommended for those who do not have any symptoms, but are in public places where it is difficult to practice physical distancing,” he said in a statement here today.
The use of non-medical fabric type face masks which may not meet the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) criteria, however, can be worn by the public, but the effectiveness may vary depending on the type and layers of fabric used.
"It is important to note that face masks should not be shared with others. All face masks should be worn and disposed of properly.
"Face masks should not be worn by children below the age of two, anyone who has breathing difficulties, individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the face mask without assistance," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham called on the public to give full cooperation to the government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government had made it mandatory to wear face masks in crowded public spaces and on public transportation beginning today to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Those who flout this directive can be slapped with an RM1,000 compound notice under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).