Coronavirus pandemic: Why is Scotland advising people, not to wear face masks!

Coronavirus update: Scotland advises people not to wear masks
Scotland government advises people not to wear masks

Coronavirus is spreading all around us. To protect ourselves we go out wearing masks. The protocol of wearing masks vary from country to country. Therefore, official advice has become conflicting, especially in the last 24 hours. New York is the latest state to call on its citizens to cover their faces outside. The general advice is still to wear an N95 mask while going out.

However, the US coronavirus taskforce coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx raised concerns. He says masks give people a “false sense of protection”.

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What is the advice in Scotland for avoiding Coronavirus?

You may see people wearing masks or covering their faces in the public. While walking or going to the supermarket, some Scottish people are seen wearing masks. But there is no official advice to do so.  The Scottish government’s national clinical director, Jason Leitch, says, “there is no evidence to support members of the public wearing protective face masks”. Professor Leitch says masks are to be worn by healthcare workers and people who are infected with the coronavirus.

But because COVID-19 is spread by droplets and other fomites rather than air, washing hands and maintaining social distance is more effective for everyone in general. He says, “The global evidence, masks, in the general population don’t work.”

In the Good Morning Scotland, Professor Leitch says “people don’t wear them properly, they’re hard, they’re difficult, they’re uncomfortable. Masks are not fun.”

Why do masks not work for the general population?

Coronavirus is spread by fomites which can spray in the air when infected people talk, cough, or sneeze. They can enter our body through eyes, nose, or mouth, either directly or through touching an infected object. If people carrying the virus wear masks, these droplets may be prevented.

André Picard says that face coverings are helpful for health care workers and doctors who are in close contact with infected patients. However, he suggests the Scottish government to advise the general population to not wear masks. He said, “This virus is not airborne. It is spread by fomites and droplets – hence the social distancing, the hand-washing”.

But the official advice of the World Health Organization is clear. Only two types of people should wear masks. Those who are sick and show symptoms. And those who treat them or are in direct contact with them. Stay safe, stay healthy.

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