COVID-19: Mkhize says face masks are essential

File: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

File: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize briefed a joint virtual meeting of parliamentary health committees on Monday morning.

AFP/Phill Magakoe

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has clarified confusion relating to the use of face masks amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

He says that although the virus is not airborne, masks are essential.

READ: Masks and gloves can spread coronavirus: WC health dept

"There is no question that the use of masks is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of infection. We recommend them particularly where people have any cough or any symptoms or in a situation where social distancing is a bit difficult.

The issue of COVID-19 being an airborne infection is something that came out in the papers but WHO disputed that. As far as we're aware, it's a droplet infection", said Mkhize.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Health Department warned against the use of masks and gloves as it could increase the risk of spreading coronavirus if not used properly.

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