HYDERABAD: A study by a group of researchers associated with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the United States, has found that chances of deaths have reduced by 87 per cent if people wear medical masks. It also said wearing double masks is a better option to counter the UK variant of Covid-19.
The study, which was conducted for about six months in the US, said that by wearing a cloth mask, the death rate had reduced by 82 per cent. The medical masks also helped in reducing the cumulative infection by 78 per cent and by 69 per cent if people wore cloth masks.
The study also enlightens the fact that those who are still reluctant to wear masks should do so immediately for their own good. The study made important observations on usage of double maks for protection against the UK and Wuhan variants. With strains still having a high reproduction number of 1.6 (one infected person can infect 1.6 persons), the study also stressed on usage of double masks instead of a single mask.
Internal medicine specialist Dr Srinivas Yadavalli said though everyone cannot afford surgical masks, they can rely upon cloth masks which are handy to combat the spread of the virus. “Mask is a key component to beat the pandemic. With proper social distancing, we can keep the virus away,” he told TOI.
According to Indian Council of Medical Research-certified researcher Dr Kiran Madala, wearing a mask becomes all the more important as the study highlights the fact of wearing of masks by infected people doubles the chances of curbing the infection spread.
“In the second wave, most cases have been asymptomatic. Whether some one tests positive or not, he or she should wear masks to bring the down chain of infection. Most asymptomatic people do not know that they are infected,” he said. The study by the researchers also said that a significant factor is how infected people wear the mask and use it properly.