World Health Organization officials said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.
"There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, reports CNN.
"Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."
People just wearing masks blatantly without realising the utility is creating nothing but a global shortage.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the WHO, also said "We prioritize the use of masks for those who need it most," which would be frontline health care workers.
"In the community, we do not recommend the use of wearing masks unless you yourself are sick and as a measure to prevent onward spread from you if you are ill," Van Kerkhove said.
"Or you're taking care of a sick person" she added.
World Health Organization officials warned at a media briefing last week that globally there is a "significant shortage" of medical supplies, including personal protective gear or PPE, for doctors.