WHO expert urges MPs to wear masks during Budget speech

The MPs were asked by a Covid-19 expert from the World Health Organization (WHO) to wear masks during the Chancellor’s budget speech.

Dr. David Nabarro, WHO special envoy for Covid-19, said “everyone” in close captivity with other people should wear masks, “including our leaders”.

Health Minister Sajid Javid has already pledged to wear a mask in the House of Commons when it is packaged on budget day.

But Mr Javid said Monday that wearing a mask in the crowded chamber was a “personal choice” for ministers and backbenchers.

The chairman of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, insisted last week that Tories do not have to wear masks in parliament because they know each other well with their “sociable, fraternal spirit”.

When asked whether MPs should wear masks during the House of Commons household on Wednesday, Dr. Nabarro told Sky News: “This virus is absolutely unstoppable, it gets everywhere, so we must do everything we can to stop it.

“And one of the best ways to stop this is with a well-fitting surgical mask that fits right over your face, slips over your nose, and covers everything, and that reduces the risk to others and your risk.

“If it works, why aren’t people using it?

“It’s not a party issue – this virus doesn’t vote.

“Indeed, there is no difference in how you deal with the virus if you vote for this or that party.

“So everyone, wear masks when you are in close captivity, it’s the right thing, the sensible thing, and the right thing, and everyone should do it, including our leaders.”

In the meantime, Dr. Nabarro is urging wealthy countries to give the vaccine-sharing facility Covax replacement syringes or postpone deliveries if possible.

He said, “We have a global program, we have it in place, it works really well, it’s just absolutely dry in terms of vaccines.

“So if a country has spare parts, give them to Covax, the global distribution system, and give them early – don’t give them three weeks or four weeks before the deadline as it creates incredible problems.

“Second, just postpone – if you don’t get your vaccines for two months and you let these supplies go to poor countries and then get them back, it won’t cause much of a problem – it can only postpone the booster expiration a little.

“But we just can’t have rich countries that siphon off vaccine stocks and store them in their own vaults and then people just die in poor countries.”

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