In a bid to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Czech Republic has made it mandatory for all its citizens to wear a mask while stepping out of their homes.

The World Health Organization had originally maintained that respiratory masks should only be used by medical workers, those who are taking care of patients or people sick with symptoms. But it has now “opened the door to greater use of homemade masks or other mouth coverings as a way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus”, news agency Reuters reported.

The Czech Republic resorted to making homemade face masks to meet the demand. “According to our professional experience, a simple homemade mask can prevent up to a hundred percent of the spread of potentially infected microdroplets,” said Vladimir Zdimal, head of the department of chemistry and aerosol physics at the Czech Academy of Sciences.