Given our current circuit breaker rules, it is mandatory that all people have to wear a mask when leaving their houses.
While we all know that wearing a mask has its benefits, do you know just how beneficial masks are in our current pandemic?
Like, any studies to back up these claims?
Well, here you go.
Scientists Did an Experiment on Hamsters Using Masks To Test COVID-19 Transmission
A team of leading experts have concluded yesterday (17 May) that the widespread use of face masks helps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Reader Bao: So far? I thought they just started to U-turn about –
No, it’s through hamsters, so it’s faster.
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong have been testing on hamsters with the use of face masks.
They were some of the firsts to specifically investigate if using face masks can stop symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers from spreading to others.
Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, one of the world’s top coronavirus experts, led the team in this research.
For the experiment, the team had placed hamsters that were artificially infected with the disease next to healthy animals.
Surgical masks were then placed between the two cages, while airflow was set to travel from the infected animals to the healthy ones.
Results Concluded That Masks Can Reduce COVID-19 Transmission
The results? It was found that non-contact transmission of the virus could be reduced by more than 60% when masks were applied.
On the other hand, when no masks were utilised, two-thirds of the healthy hamsters ended up infected in a week’s time.
Infection rate was seen to drop around 15% when surgical masks were placed on the cage of infected animals, and 35% when placed on the cage with healthy ones.
Furthermore, when comparing infected hamsters with and without a mask, those with masks were found to have lesser virus within their bodies than those without it.
This shows that there is a very clear benefit of wearing masks, especially the infected ones.
Yuen stated that this experiment showed why universal masking is crucial as there is a large number of infected people without a symptom.
Universal Masking Is The Way To Go
We see the importance of wearing masks, and it has been proven in Hong Kong’s case.
Yuen was one of the microbiologists who discovered the SARS virus when it emerged in 2003. After gaining knowledge from that pandemic, he advised Hong Kongers from the get-go to adopt universal masking in our current situation.
However, the World Health Organisation and many other foreign health authorities claimed that the masks should go to the frontliners instead of used among public at that period of time.
Just like what happened this year.
Due to the early use of masks among Hong Kongers, their country has managed to effectively contain the disease four months after discovering its first COVID-19 case. It has just over 1,000 infections and 4 deaths.
With this, we can see how universal masking, paired with efficient testing, tracing and treatment, can reduce the number of transmitted cases in a country.
So folks, let’s do our part for Singapore and continue wearing our masks properly, yeah?
Don’t be a Sovereign. Be a hamster.
Reader Bao: When you say hamster, all I can think of is a website.
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