‘Get the mask out of the closet’ – WHO’s special envoy urges people to return to wearing masks as nearly 20,000 new Covid cases have been confirmed
It was inevitable that cases of Covid-19 would increase as it is “difficult to stop transmission from a person not wearing a mask,” according to an immunology expert.
This comes as a further 19,866 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today. Of these,
About 9,324 were confirmed by a PCR test, while 10,542 people registered a positive antigen test via the HSE portal.
Hospitalizations have increased by 71 people, with 1,466 Covid-19 patients hospitalized as of 8am this morning, with 55 in intensive care.
Kingston Mills, professor of experimental immunology at Trinity College Dublin, said the easing of restrictions coupled with the emergence of a more easily transmissible variant, BA2, has led to a huge surge in infections.
“That’s the harsh reality. The fear factor is gone, and people have that feeling because we’ve been told it’s over, that we could go back to normal,” he said.
Prof Mills said while infection may not be a problem for healthy people, it may be for the elderly and those with underlying health problems.
“If they still have the virus in their system, they can pass it on,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“Sitting two meters away from a person with Covid will not make a difference as this virus is so transmissible that if you cough or sneeze in a room where other people are not wearing masks, you will get an infection.”
Prof Mills said that in the majority of people this virus appears to affect the upper respiratory tract, but he added that it leads to serious illness in some who end up in the hospital and intensive care unit.
The World Health Organization’s special envoy said people should start wearing masks again in places like shops, restaurants and public transport.
dr David Nabarro said: “I would say to everyone why not wear a mask when the number of cases is rising like it is in Ireland right now?”
“Don’t wait for the authorities to order it. Just get the mask out of the closet, put it in your pocket and then when you go somewhere where other people are, just put it on.”
dr Nabarro said people should take extra care when mixing in poorly ventilated areas.
“If I were in Ireland right now I would expect mask wearing to be required in confined spaces where there might be crowds,” he said.
“Public transport is an example and places to eat that are hot and not ventilated – basements and the like – I would expect these to be the sort of places where mask wearing and physical distancing would be highly recommended.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/get-the-mask-out-of-the-cupboard-who-special-envoy-urges-people-to-return-to-mask-wearing-as-almost-20000-new-covid-cases-confirmed-41487871.html ‘Get the mask out of the closet’ – WHO’s special envoy urges people to return to wearing masks as nearly 20,000 new Covid cases have been confirmed