Face masks are seen as a key weapon in preventing the corona virus. But can a mask prevent corona infection? The World Health Organization (WHO) is re-examining the issue.
Professor David Heyman, chair of the panel, said the new study could lead to “completely new” conclusions about masks. He, who is also a former WHO director, told the BBC:
Currently, the WHO recommends keeping a distance of at least one meter to prevent the spread of the infection from a person coughing. The WHO recommends wearing masks for patients with symptoms similar to those of corona. But he concludes that a healthy person should not wear a mask at all times.
According to the WHO, a healthy person should only wear a mask if he or she is mixing with the sick or infected. But wearing a mask is not enough. It is equally important to wash your hands frequently and use a sanitizer.
Following the WHO guidelines, various countries have requested their citizens to maintain a distance of one meter. This is called ‘social distance’. When a person coughs or sneezes, it is recommended to maintain this distance so that the saliva coming out of the mouth does not reach the other person. Infection can occur quickly.
Research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the use of high-speed cameras and other sensors has revealed new facts in this regard. According to the study, when a person coughs or sneezes, small gases of gas are released, which contain fine particles of liquid. Studies have shown that it can reach up to 6 meters when coughing and up to 8 meters when coughing.
Professor Lydia Bourouba, who was involved in the study, said: “This fact has opened the door to a new debate on the safe distance between individuals. What we are talking about so far as maintaining a distance of 1 meter may give wrong results. ‘
So how much does a face mask help?
According to Professor Bourouba, masks help to keep the air out, especially inside the house. For example, if a person wears a mask when they come in contact with an infected person, it will block their breathing and prevent the virus from entering the mouth.
According to Professor Heyman, new research by MIT and other organizations will be studied by the WHO. If they agree with the findings of the investigation, he says, the WHO would be more inclined to wear a mask than to keep a distance.
He says there are many things to consider when wearing a mask. The mask should be taped to the nose. It should be replaced immediately if the saliva gets cold or wet. Otherwise the virus can enter from there. Even when opening the mask, it should be opened carefully so that the infection does not spread to the hands.
Heyman says you should always wear a mask. He says, “You should not take off your mask and eat or smoke and wear the same mask again.”