Most cloth masks are just fashion accessories, Omicron threat experts say

As the world faces a outbreak of coronavirus cases with the spread of Omicron variant, experts have warned against using single-layer fabric face masks as protection against the virus.

“They can be really good or really terrible depending on the fabric used. Double or triple layer masks made of a mixture of materials can be more effective, but most fabric coverings are just fashion accessories,” Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care services at the University of Oxford, was quoted in a Bloomberg Report.

She added: “The main problem with fabric coverings is that they don’t have to meet any health standards.”

On the other hand, manufacturers of N95 masks, for example, must ensure that the masks filter out 95% of particles.

A major advantage of fabric masks, especially in terms of the environment and cost effectiveness, is that they are reusable. Now, reusable masks that meet filtration standards are also available, the experts said.

“The problem here is that if you have a single-layer mask, the filtration capacity is absolutely minimal and doesn’t make any difference,” said Peter Juni, head of the Ontario Science Advisory Table, in an interview with CTV News. last week. .


With an increase in Omicron cases, governments around the world have tightened restrictions in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Earlier this month, the UK reintroduced the mandatory wearing of masks on public transport, shops and indoor locations. The rule had been relaxed earlier this year.

During this time, Canadians have been advised not to use single-layer fabric masks.

Since the pandemic struck, authorities in different parts of the world have said contrasting things about when and where uninfected people should wear face masks and what type.

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