A man donning a mask Photograph:( AFP )
Countries that have enforced mask-wearing are performing better in terms of containment efforts
Amidst the panic-driven state of all industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who simply cannot work from home are being under risk as they head out to work everyday.
E-commerce is one such industry. With calls for people to stay inside, the pressure on online shopping for essential supplies increases.
Even though the World Health Organisation claims that face masks are not efficient in preventing the virus, the head of the Chinese Centers of Disease and Control claimed that countries need to tell all their citizens to wear masks.
Statistically also, countries that have enforced mask-wearing are performing better in terms of containment efforts.
Austria and Slovenia recently made wearing masks compulsory.
Advisories to wear masks were issued in Czech Republic, with the US state of New York advising citizens to wear them.
Marks & Spencer recently issued plastic face shields to protect employees.
Another big retail giant to join in is Amazon. Recently, the company told The Daily Telegraph that it had sourced “million of masks” for employees. Starting next week, every employee will don a mask.
Many are left wondering how places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea have been able to contain the virus more effectively besides being so close to the epicentre - Wuhan in China.
Countries that advised against using masks, like Italy, Spain, France, and now the US have been hit hard, with many reporting over 1000 deaths a day during the virus’ peak.
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In the UK alone, almost 5,000 are dead, and over 47,000 positive cases.
The US has reported over 8,000 deaths and 311,600 confirmed cases.
The total death toll in countries like South Korea, Japan, and Singapore stands at only 260, tremendously lower than Western countries, and with a bigger population!
Even if the masks may not be helping with protection, they most definitely act as a barrier between the infected and the uninfected. So a person who may not show symptoms but is infected may spread it to others without a mask, but by wearing it, the person is protecting people around them.
The virus spreads primarily through droplets that released into the air while coughing and sneezing. Additionally, new research claims that even talking and breathing around infected people can spread the virus.