Policy
statement

Keeping the virus behind the mask.

Cloth masks worn by people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 appear to be effective at protecting the people around them. People can actually be most infectious while showing no or few symptoms. Mask wearing appears to reduce the transmissibility by reducing transmission of infected droplets - a potential public health benefit. 

#Masks4AllMalawi advocates for Universal Mask Usage (“UMU”) by everybody when in public areas as an important part of a comprehensive overall strategy and its potential public health benefit. This is not because UMU has been comprehensively tested in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19, but rather on the basis of the precautionary principle, i.e. the principle that emphasises a maximum of caution when scientific knowledge is lacking. In a resource-challenged environment such as that in Malawi, this principle is even more important as other interventions may not be available and health care capacity is low. It is on the basis of the precautionary principle and the potential public health benefit that we advocate for UMU. 

Universal Mask Usage (“UMU”) can be: (a) Voluntary Universal Mask Usage "VUMU" ; or (b) Mandatory Universal Mask Usage ("MUMU") - which is now in force in Kenya, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Vietnam, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, & Israel.