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WHO warns of coronavirus 'infodemic,' says washing hands a better safeguard than masks

This electron microscopic image provided by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data) shows the new coronavirus.

PARIS (Mainichi) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) warned of an "infodemic" -- the spread of an excessive amount of baseless information -- regarding the new coronavirus during a news conference on Feb. 4.

Doctor Sylvie Briand, WHO director of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, stressed that the world is not in the midst of a pandemic. She said that the U.N. health body will continue to provide information backed by scientific evidence and call out to the world to resume flights to China.

The WHO doctor also said washing hands is a better way to prevent infections than wearing face masks, but those who have caught the virus should wear masks to prevent further infections.

(Japanese original by Hanayo Kuno, Paris Bureau)

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