Wearing masks can cut down coronavirus infection risk by 65%

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 15, 2020, 02.55 PM(IST)

A protective face mask thrown in the street is pictured on June 9, 2020 in Rennes western France. Photograph:( AFP )

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Wearing a mask can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 65 per cent!

All earlier notions of wearing masks have been dispelled as studies point out the importance of face coverings in prevention measures against COVID-19. In fact, wearing a mask can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 65 per cent!

Two doctors from the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, in a livestream event pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic stressed on the importance of wearing a face mask.

Precautions save lives!

Dean Blumberg, the chief of infectious diseases at the hospital, during the livestream asserted how we must tread with caution, for we simply don’t know who may be carrying the virus. “We don’t know who might spread COVID-19”, he said.

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Blumberg mentioned how social distancing alone can reduce the risk of catching the deadly virus by 90 per cent, while masks come a close second with a 65 per cent reduction in risks. "We do know social distancing reduces the risk of transmitting the virus by 90 per cent, and wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 per cent”, he said.

It has been well established that COVID-19 spreads through droplets and aerosol particles released by infected people, which then latch on to potential hosts, and set off a chain of infections which spike very easily.

The two doctors claimed that the droplets may be very small, about “one-third the size of a human hair”, but are detectable by us.

Wearing masks is not a belief system

“Everyone should wear a mask. People who say, ‘I don’t believe masks work,’ are ignoring scientific evidence”, Blumberg said. He further claimed that "It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity’.”

The doctor further shed light on how easily the virus is transmitted among people in the absence of face masks. “People who don’t wear a mask increase the risk of transmission to everyone, not just the people they come into contact with. It’s all the people those people will have contact with.... You’re being an irresponsible member of the community if you’re not wearing a mask”.

Also read: Spain's Catalonia region makes masks obligatory everywhere

Another way the virus spreads is through aerosol particles thrown out by the infected people when they’re talking. These are the real culprits of fast infections, for they are “1/100th the size of a human hair”, making them difficult to spot and avoid.

Dr Ristenpart said, Studies in laboratory conditions now show the virus stays alive in aerosol form with a half-life on the scale of hours. It persists in the air”. Recently, another group of scientists asserted how the virus spreads rapidly and may be airborne in nature, calling the WHO to rethink its understanding of the virus.

The World Economic Forum has endorsed the scientific consensus that wearing masks cuts down the risk of infections by 65 per cent.