LONDON: According to a UK study, wearing a face mask in addition to lockdowns could lessen the spread of the infectious disease and in turn prevent a second wave of global pandemic.
When worn in public, masks prevent the transmission of the disease by 50%. Researchers at the Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities say lockdowns alone cannot prevent the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The study is led by Richard Stutt who said, “Our analyses support the immediate and universal adoption of facemasks by the public.” He urged that in combination with lockdowns and social distancing, wearing a face mask will drastically stop the spread of the virus and resume economic activity before a vaccine is available.
The World Health Organization also urged world leaders to ensure face masks are mandatory in public areas.
A study found in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society A” scientific journal shows wearing a mask in public spaces reduced the R value below 1 twice as fast.
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The R value is the amount of people an infected person can transmit the virus to. An optimal R value is below 1 because when higher than that, it can lead to exponential growth.