Asian countries have been doing this since the beginning and now most have lower rates of infection and pandemic control more quickly than European countries.
In many parts of the world, this message may confuse many. Health authorities, media and politicians in several countries have spent weeks confirming that wearing face mask does not work and instead asks people to increase hand washing, implement social spacing.
Image processing: Tat Dat
At the end of February, US General Physician Jerome Adams wrote on his personal Twitter: “DO NOT BUY ANYWHERE! Masks are NOT effective in preventing corona virus. However, if health care workers do not have masks to care for patients, they and the community may be in danger.” His tweet has been reprinted more than 43,000 times.
That same week, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had a dialogue with legislators. When asked whether people should wear masks, he answered bluntly: “Is not”.
However, Mr. Redfield now seems to have changed his mind. Responding to NPR on January 31, Mr. Redfield said that CDC is re-evaluating its epidemic prevention guidelines and may recommend that people wear masks to prevent cross-contamination in the community. Large organizations, like WHO, will also quickly do this.
The bottom line in the translation room
Last month, Adrien Burch, an expert in microbiology at the University of California, Berkeley, emphasized that: “Although many people say wearing a mask ‘doesn’t work’, no one has clear evidence for this. That. Simply because there’s no such evidence. ”
In fact, there is evidence to prove the opposite that masks have a great effect in dealing with disease.
Burch cited a Cochrane Review study that showed that masks were of great use during the 2003 SARS pandemic. A Beijing infectious disease study showed that “wearing a mask regularly reduces the risk by up to 70%. muscles infected with SARS “.
SARS, like COVID-19, is a respiratory disease caused by the corona virus group.
Although SARS appears throughout the world, the places most affected are Asia, especially China and Hong Kong Special Zone. Experience against SARS can be seen from the very first days of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Asia. When information about the form of the virus spread, people immediately put on masks to prevent disease.
Although Western countries are still unfamiliar with the image, and argue that Asia is “too obsessed” with masks, this strategy has contributed significantly to the prevention of Asian countries.
South Korea, mainland China, and the Taiwan area have successfully managed to contain the pandemic through the use of masks. Meanwhile, people in Europe and the United States still use limited or do not have enough masks to use.
Answering to CNN, Ivan Hung, an infectious disease specialist at Hong Kong Medical University said: “If you look at the data in Hong Kong, you can see that wearing a mask is one of the most important factors in the process of disease control.”
“Facemask not only helps to reduce the number of corona virus infections, it also helps to reduce the risk of spreading the flu. In fact, it is currently the flu season, but we have very few cases of influenza. That is because masks not only protect the wearer from corona viruses but also prevent many other viruses, including the flu. “
In early March, Hong Kong had only about 150 cases of COVID-19, although it did not apply the same blockade as other regions. After receiving people from Europe and the US returned, this new city has more new positive cases.
“Based on research, masks offer more benefits than harm. Even with homemade masks, if worn properly and not touched too much, users can greatly reduce the risk of virus infection.”
In its guidelines for the prevention of corona virus, the CDC states how the disease is transmitted “primarily through droplets shot when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” which can “fall into the mouth, nose of people around them, and enters the lungs “.
CDC recommends infected people wear masks or try to cover their mouths, nose when coughing and sneezing. People who care for patients need to wear a mask when sharing a room with an infected person.
However, in the same guideline, the CDC states that people who do not have “unnecessary” disease symptoms must wear masks because “masks may be scarce and should be given priority for use by physicians”.
This has made many people find it difficult to understand. CDC, together with WHO and a number of agencies and health professionals, simultaneously issued instructions that masks do not help protect people in normal circumstances, while confirming masks are essential for medical staff.
A Twitter user wrote: “Why is the mask useful for medical staff but not effective for ordinary people?”
The effect of masks
One of the reasons CDC offers reasons for changing the prevention guidelines is that masks can help prevent infection in COVID-19 infections but have no symptoms, and so if People all cover their faces with masks – as Asian countries do – it can help prevent infection.
The virus spread before an infected person is not new. This information has been predicted since the early weeks of the epidemic, and recent evidence has been increasingly clear.
Even if there is no infection from asymptomatic people, wearing a mask will help.
In the US, if only infected people wear a mask, they may be “wary” by people around them. But if everyone wears it, the infected person will wear it more comfortably and help people around them to be safe.
The lack of masks and protective equipment at hospitals across the United States and other countries around the world should be addressed as soon as possible.
However, CNN said that this shortage is due to mistakes in policy and supply chain, not from the 75% increase in demand of the people.
From this, it can be seen that if instead of saying masks were not working, officials could ask factories to increase production of masks and provide appropriate instructions for use, perhaps the United States had limited. a significant number of cases across the country.