U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams is urging Americans to stop buying disposable surgical masks because they are not effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
And because of the growing demand for the masks, prices are rising and there is concern about a possible shortage of the masks for healthcare workers which would put them at risk.
“Not having a mask does not necessarily put you at the risk of contracting the disease,” Adams wrote on Twitter. He explained that preventive measures like staying home when you are sick and washing your hands with soap and water can prevent the spread of disease.
The demand for masks has caused a surge in prices at Amazon and eBay. He wrote in his twitter post “Seriously people—STOP BUYING MASKS!”
As of February 28, more than 83,000 cases of coronavirus have been in confirmed in over 50 countries, of which 8,000 were classified as serious. The Louvre, one of the world’s premiere art museums, closed Sunday and Monday after employees expressed concern about the coronavirus. One hundred and thirty people have been affected by coronavirus and two have died.
At least 2,800 deaths have been attributed to the disease, surpassing that of the 2003 SARS outbreak. More than 36,000 people have since recovered, according to the World Health Organization.