Have Face Masks Slowed the Spread of COVID-19?
Jul 14 2020 Read 440 Times
There’s plenty of controversy surrounding whether face masks are an effective way to slow the spread of COVD-19. Now, new research from the Chinese University of Hong Kong is stressing countries that adopted face masks in the early stages of the pandemic have enjoyed relatively low COVID-19 infection rates compared to countries that did not.
The findings were reported in a letter-to-the-editor published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, with the authors asserting that face mask adoption rates may have played an important role in containing and fuelling outbreaks around the world.
Low transmission rates in Asia credited to face masks
Titled ‘COVID-19 and Public Interest in Face Mask Use’, the letter compares Asian countries where face masks are commonplace to western nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom, where face masks are unusual and not widely adopted.
"In many Asian countries like China and Japan, the use of face masks in this pandemic is ubiquitous and is considered as a hygiene etiquette, whereas in many western countries, its use in the public is less common," reads the letter.
Clear link between masks and infection rates
Sunny Wong, MD, an associate professor at the university’s Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, says the correlation between face masks and infection rates is clear. “One classic example is seen in Hong Kong," says Wong. “Despite proximity to mainland China, its infection rate of COVID-19 is generally modest with only 1,110 cases to-date.” Wong says the low rates are thanks to an almost universal adoption of face masks in the city, with almost 99% of survey respondents saying they wear a mask in public. Similar links have been reported in other Asian countries, including Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.
“Face masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19” stress experts
For Wong, the pattern is clear and should be acknowledged by health organisations and governments around the world. “Face masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and have a relatively low cost compared to the health resources and death toll associated with the pandemic," says Wong, who is calling on all countries to advice citizens to wear masks in public. “We believe that face mask use, hand washing and social distancing are all important components of the non-pharmaceutical measures against COVID-19.”
From epidemiology to gene therapy research, state-of-the-art equipment is a must in world-class laboratories. Find out more about how to invest in the best equipment in ‘Choosing the right safety cabinet to advance your gene therapy research’ featuring insight from Stephen Pygott on behalf of Biopharma Faster Air.
Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.
In This Edition Chromatography - Measurement of Pesticides in Cannabis sativa and Hemp Matrices - Biphenyl Modified Silica Stabilised by Bulky Substituents - Wettable Phase for Analytical a...
View all digital editions
Aug 11 2020 Guanghzou, China
Aug 13 2020 Shanghai, China
Aug 16 2020 San Francisco, CA, USA
Aug 19 2020 Mumbai, India
Aug 19 2020 Mumbai, India