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Latest South Korea mandates mask-wearing to fight Covid-19 as face coverings remain controversial in the US

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The East Asian nation is only the latest in the region to introduce a mask mandate, a sign of how vital face coverings have been found to be in controlling infections and preventing future outbreaks.

Initially, the CDC downplayed the value of mask wearing, in an apparent attempt to conserve supplies for medical workers.

Adams, whose Twitter profile now shows him wearing a mask, later declared that face coverings “promote freedom” by minimizing asymptomatic viral spread.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also issued similar advice early in the pandemic, though it has since reversed its guidance and encourages mask wearing to prevent infections.

But the initial confusion over masks in much of the West helped prevent mass adoption to the extent that even now, face coverings are still used inconsistently in many countries.

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