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WHO Covid special envoy criticises Boris Johnson for not wearing mask


The World Health Organisation’s special envoy for Covid-19 has criticised Boris Johnson for not wearing a mask when he visited a hospital.

Asked about pictures of Prime Minister Boris Johnson walking through a hospital without a mask, Dr David Nabarro told Sky News: “I’m not sitting on the fence on this one – where you’ve got large amounts of virus being transmitted, everybody should do everything to avoid either getting the virus or inadvertently passing it on.

“We know that wearing a face mask reduces the risk, we know that maintaining physical distance reduces the risk, we know that hygiene by regular hand washing and coughing into your elbow reduces the risk.

“We should do it all and we should not rely on any one intervention like vaccination on its own.

“So, please, would every leader be wearing face masks? Particularly when in indoor settings.

“This virus is unforgiving and we need to do everything possible to prevent it getting in between us and infecting us.”

He also told the broadcaster: “Perhaps that’s the toughest thing about Covid is that the responses get politicised – in some places if you wear a mask, you’re taught to belong to a particular political party.

“That’s the most regretful thing about the present situation, we all need to be able to do what we’ve got to do, regardless of what politics we adopt.”

On the reopening of the US border to allow more travel, Dr Nabarro told Sky News: “I’m not travelling very much.

“Why am I not travelling very much? Because I don’t want to get Covid – I’m in the wrong age group and I’ve got other adverse factors as well.

“So, I’m trying to say to everybody travel if you must – and there are often essential emotional reasons as well as essential economic and another reasons – but try not to travel if you don’t have to.



The Prime Minister was photographed with his face uncovered during a visit to Hexham General Hospital.
The Prime Minister was photographed with his face uncovered during a visit to Hexham General Hospital.

“Because travelling does increase your risk, we know that the more contacts you have with other people, the more likely you are to both get the virus and to spread it, so minimise travel please.

“I’m asking everybody if they’re organising meetings, make sure they’re either virtual or hybrid, so that if people are unable to travel, they can still participate fully from a distance.”





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