June 10, 2020 - 16:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Population-wide face mask use could push Covid-19 transmission down to controllable levels for national epidemics, and could prevent further waves of the pandemic disease when combined with lockdowns, Reuters reports citing a British study on Wednesday, June 10.
The research, led by scientists at the Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities, suggests lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but that even homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public.
“Our analyses support the immediate and universal adoption of face masks by the public,” said Richard Stutt, who co-led the study at Cambridge.
He said combining widespread mask use with social distancing and some lockdown measures, could be “an acceptable way of managing the pandemic and re-opening economic activity” before the development of an effective vaccine against COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
The study’s findings were published in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society A” scientific journal.
At the onset of the pandemic, scientific evidence on the effectiveness of face masks in slowing transmission of respiratory diseases was limited, and there was no data on COVID-19 since it was a previously unknown disease.
But, prompted by some new research in recent weeks, the World Health Organization said on Friday it now recommends that everyone wear fabric face masks in public to try to reduce disease spread.