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Face coverings DO work

23:50, Monday, 15 June, 2020
Face coverings DO work

Face coverings do protect people from catching the coronavirus and may even work better than social distancing, a study on-board a US warship found.

Scientists closely monitored what happened on the USS Theodore Roosevelt when coronavirus broke out among military personnel on it in March.

More than 1,000 of the ship's nearly 4,900 crew members tested positive for Covid-19 during the self-contained outbreak.

And results from a study which was done at the time showed that only 55.8 per cent of people who regularly wore a face covering caught the disease, compared to 80.8 per cent of those who didn't - a 25 per cent reduction.

Masks actually appeared to be more effective at stopping the spread of the disease than social distancing, which cut the infection rate from 70 per cent to 54.4 per cent (15.6 per cent drop).

Social distancing has been one of the most strictly adhered-to rules in the UK's lockdown, as well as others around the world, while the effectiveness of masks has been fiercely debated.

But scientists have shown that face coverings are effective at stopping people spreading the virus when they are ill themselves.

They catch droplets which are expelled from someone's nose and mouth when they breathe, talk, cough or sneeze, and which carry the coronavirus inside them.

If these droplets cannot escape the mask and circulate in the air, they cannot be breathed in by other people or settle on surfaces where others might touch them.

Britain's Government is coming round to the idea of people wearing masks and, from today, they are mandatory on all public transport and recommended for people who are indoors with other people, such as shops.

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