A group of Hong Kong researchers will hold a debate with the World Health Organisation on the importance of wearing face masks.
The WHO previously said people with symptoms and health workers should be the only group of people putting on masks.
However, a research in Hong Kong may have proven the global body on health wrong, after discovery that it could help prevent the disease.
During a briefing at the Chatham House, Professor David Heymann, who is chairing the panel, warned that recommendations on masks were filled with problems because people often wear them incorrectly or fail to dispose of them properly.
“There is right now a debate about the usefulness of masks because Hong Kong has provided some evidence that masks may be useful in protecting individuals from infection,”
“It’s not clear yet whether or not that’s true.
“WHO, the group that I work with, is debating that with a group of experts around the world… to understand whether there is evidence which would call for a change in what WHO is recommending now for masks – which is that they really don’t have a major role in protecting people from infection except in healthcare workers where they also wear eye protection and they also have a role from protecting others from coughs or sneezing.
“But as the evidence becomes available, it seems there will be a debate trying to decide whether masks play a role at some point in the outbreak.
“And believe me, if they do, there is a private sector healthy enough to begin producing those masks in quantities necessary.”