Connect with us

Health

Top US health body advises against using loosely woven cloth masks

"Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection," CDC says.

Published

on

Top US health body advises against using loosely woven cloth masks
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Washington: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday revised its guidance for Americans on wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, saying "loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection" while stopping short of advocating nationwide usage of N95 respirators.

The CDC, an agency critics have accused of offering shifting and confusing guidance amid the pandemic, clarified on its website "that people can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns related to supply shortages for N95s."

Americans should "wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently," the CDC added.

The United States leads the world in COVID-19 deaths — roughly 850,000 — even as it battles a surge of cases involving the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant. Complicating matters is the refusal of some Americans to get vaccinated.

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the federal government plans to make "high-quality masks" available to Americans for free. In another step, the White House on Friday said the government will begin shipping 500 million COVID-19 tests to Americans later this month without charge.

The CDC said it wants to encourage Americans to wear masks rather than push them to wear the highest-grade face protection, but also explicitly said that respirators provide the best level of protection. It said that "loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection."

"Masking is a critical public health tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask," the CDC added.

The CDC said the revised recommendations "reflect the science on masking, including what we have learned in the past two years," since the start of the pandemic.

More Americans have been recently opting for higher-grade protection amid the surge in cases.

The United States is tallying about 1,800 COVID-19 deaths and 780,000 new infections daily — the most in the world — as well as record levels of hospitalized patients.

The Omicron-related surge appears to be slowing in areas that were hit first, including states in the Northeast and South, according to a Reuters analysis. In Western states, the number of new cases climbed 89% in the past week compared with the previous week.

The CDC last May announced that fully vaccinated people could shed their face coverings, as COVID-19 cases were then on the decline. But in July, the CDC said fully vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public places in regions where COVID-19 was spreading rapidly. The CDC said this week 99.5% of US counties currently are covered by the mask recommendation.

Some US N95 makers told Reuters they had record N95 sales after Anthony Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, recommended on CNN that Americans "get the highest quality mask that you can tolerate and that's available to you."

N95 masks that are worn correctly will filter out at least 95% of particulate matter in the air, preventing anything larger than 0.3 micron from passing through.

Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous, on Monday will require some employers to provide "medical-grade" masks — surgical masks, KF94, KN95s or N95s — to workers at high risk of contracting a COVID-19 infection on the job.

Masks remain polarizing. Biden, a Democrat, this week again urged people to wear masks and noted that about a third of Americans report they do not wear a mask at all. Many Republican-leaning states have no mask requirements. Some Democratic-governed states such as California have reimposed indoor mask mandates.

Blair Childs, an executive at Premier, a group-purchasing company for hospitals, expressed concern about legislation backed by US Senator Bernie Sanders that would send every person in the country a pack of three N95 masks. Childs said such proposals could "throw the healthcare supply chain into disarray."

Days after taking office in January 2020, Biden imposed mask requirements on airplanes, trains and public transit and in airports and other transit hubs — actions his predecessor Donald Trump declined to take. Biden last month extended the transit mask requirements through March 18. The CDC on Friday said N95 masks may be considered for use in places like transit "when greater protection is needed or desired."

SOURCE: Reuters

Siddra Sumreen

Syeda Siddra has been working as a web journalist for over the past seven years. She earned her M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from the Lahore Leads University. Ms. Siddra has previously worked with other renowned channels and is now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer.

Pakistan

Another heatwave to grip Sindh from May 27: PMD

An earlier spell of severe hot weather persisted in the province till 23rd May.

Published by Siddra Sumreen

Published

on

Another heatwave to grip Sindh from May 27: PMD

Karachi: Pakistan Meteorological Department on Thursday predicted that the heatwave conditions likely to return over central and upper Sindh from 27 May.

Daytime maximum temperatures may rise again to 46 – 48 degree Celsius in Dadu, Jacobabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Nawabshah and Khairpur districts. While, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts are likely to experience maximum temperature between 44-46 Celsius and Badin 40 – 42 degree Celsius.

Karachi is experiencing hot, humid, and windy weather with maximum temperature remains between 34-36 degree Celsius today, according to the Met Office. The wind direction will be westerly or southwesterly today.

An earlier spell of severe hot weather persisted in the province till 23rd May.

On the other hand, mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most areas of the country, while very hot in south Punjab during the weekend.

Here are some ways to stay cool during the heatwave:

  • Don’t go out between 12pm and 3pm when the sun is the strongest
  • Wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing
  • Wear sunscreen and stay in the shade
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Cover your head (wear a scarf or cap)
  • Use lip balm and eye drops to make sure your lips and eyes don’t get too dry

Here are the symptoms of a heat stroke you should watch out for:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • If you experience these symptoms, you should visit a hospital.
Continue Reading

Pakistan

Riots in Islamabad: Police register cases against PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Asad Umar

Riots in Islamabad: Police register cases against PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Asad Umar

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

Published

on

Riots in Islamabad: Police register cases against PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Asad Umar

Islamabad: The Islamabad police Thursday booked senior PTI leaders including chairman Imran Khan in a case for the riots that ocurred in the federal capital during the “Azadi March” on Wednesday.

Police also registered cases against PTI leaders Asad Umar, Imran Ismail, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Ali Nawaz Awan.

The police registered two separate cases at the Kohsar Police Station for "rioting and arson".

The first FIR was registered at the complaint of a sub-inspector (SI) named Asif Raza, while the second one was filed on behalf of SI Ghulam Sarwar. 

The cases have been registered against 150 people out of which 39 have been arrested. They also mention the burning of the metro bus stations at Islamabad's Jinnah Avenue, damaging a government vehicle at the Express Chowk, and breaking the glass windows of Geo News and Jang office. 

Continue Reading

Pakistan

Will not bow before Imran’s dictation: PM Shehbaz Sharif

"If the PTI was merely concerned about the election, they should have come to the parliament."

Published by Siddra Sumreen

Published

on

Will not bow before Imran’s dictation: PM Shehbaz Sharif

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday vowed not to bow before the dictations of ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan and made it clear that the National Assembly would, not anyone else, would decide the timing of the election.

“I want to make it clear to the head of this gang that none of his dictation will be accepted. This House will decide when to hold fair election,” the prime minister said addressing the National Assembly hours after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan ended his long march here, giving the government a six-day deadline to announce a fresh election.

The prime minister said if the PTI was merely concerned about the election, they should have come to the parliament.

“Imran Niazi should not have any misunderstanding. There are 14 months (to complete the parliament’s term). We are open to talks. Dialogue is the trait of politicians. I can constitute a committee. But, if you think you will pressurize, blackmail or threaten us to leave the government, keep in mind, we will not bow before your pressure or dictation,” he reiterated.  

He accepted that the country was faced with numerous challenges but the coalition government would try its utmost to steer the country out of the issues it had inherited from the previous government.

Lamenting the riots and destruction caused by the participants of the PTI long march, the prime minister said the House should choose between the course of development or destruction.

Drawing a comparison between the economic growth of the two neighboring countries, he said in 1990s India copied Pakistan’s economic strategy and excelled with its IT exports touching $200 billion against $1.5 billion of Pakistan.

He said the protestors who also carried weapons to bring to the federal capital, also damaged infrastructure here and burnt down the trees despite the party claiming to be the champion of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami.

He also condemned the killing of a police constable in Lahore, sympathized with the grieved family and also announced an assistance package for the policemen who were martyred or injured in the line of their duty.

He said instead of showing some compassion to the widow or orphaned children of the martyred police constable, the PTI leader taunted him.

Calling it a 126-day theatre, the prime minister said the PTI’s sit-in in 2014 had not only impacted the national economy but also claimed the lives of the security personnel.

He told the House that the law enforcement agencies showed maximum restraint to control the situation only by using teargas or rubber bullet. The government also called in the army troops to aid the civilian setup, he added.

He also lauded the performance of the Islamabad Police, Rangers, FC, Islamabad Traffic Police and other departments concerned to protect the lives and properties of the people.

The prime minister said the PTI long march, which was led by Imran Khan from Peshawar and accompanied by KPK chief minister, was in fact an attack at the federation which could not be allowed in any civilized society.

The prime minister said after the nation sacrificed thousands of lives and left many others disabled, the slogan of jihad was raised in Peshawar by the PTI.

“Today, the slogans of jihad were raised in Peshawar. Jihad against whom? The nation needs an answer. They used the religion for personal gains which the House should condemn through a resolution to avert the recurrence of such incidents” he commented.

He said despite the dearth of resources, the previous government reduced the oil prices, leaving behind a “landmine” for the incumbent government.   

The prime minister said during the last three and half years, the PTI leadership did nothing to support the poor, closed PKLI, and ended free medical treatment of hepatitis patients.  

“Does it require any more evidence to believe that he is an enemy of Pakistan,” he remarked.

The prime minister also questioned the PTI leader as to why he announced a long march on May 25 despite knowing that it coincided with the sentencing of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik by an Indian court.

He said the House was unanimous to condemn the sentence to Yasin Malik and shared the grief of his family, besides reiterating Pakistan’s stance to continue supporting the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination.

He recalled the PTI’s sit-in of 2014 when the institutions including Pakistan Television was attacked and caused the postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping which also delayed the signing of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor for seven months.

He said the Chinese firm executing Karot Hydropower project had agreed to provide free electricity to the national grid till the finalization of the Commercial Operations Date which would save Rs4 billion to the national kitty.

He said the previous government wasted three and half years in mere attacking the national institutions including the judiciary and hurling allegations ignoring the sufferings of the people.

“How long this drama will continue? How long this disturbed nation will tolerate it,” he questioned adding the country could not afford the history of the 2014 sit-in to be repeated.

Continue Reading

Trending