DURBAN – As infection rates continue to increase in some countries around the world, mask-wearing is one of the best tools we have to protect one another.
Mathematical modelling published by researchers from several international universities in April found that if masks were worn by 80 percent to 90 percent of the population, coupled with social distancing, it could eventually eliminate the disease.
Even though the information surrounding the wearing of a mask during the pandemic has at times been confusing. Experts agree on the following:
- Masks and face coverings can prevent the wearer from transmitting the Covid-19: Multiple studies have shown that face coverings can contain droplets expelled from the wearer, which are responsible for the majority of transmission of the virus.
- It is estimated that 40 percent of persons with Covid-19 are asymptomatic but potentially able to transmit the virus to others. In the absence of widespread screening tests, there’s no way of identifying many people who are silently transmitting the virus in their community.
- Disease modelling suggests masks worn by significant portions of the population, coupled with other measures, could result in substantial reductions in case numbers and deaths.
From August 7 to 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the World Mask Week during which health organizations across the globe are encouraging everyone to wear face masks in public spaces to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Part of the goal of World Mask Week is to show that you can very easily be cool and wear a face covering. As part of the #PlayApartTogether initiative, the gaming industry will be integrating World Mask Week messages and images into its games.
“By wearing a mask, you’re sending a powerful message to those around you that we are all in this together. Wear a mask when appropriate, keep your physical distance from others and avoid crowded places, observe coughing etiquette, clean your hands frequently and you’ll be protecting yourself and others,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
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