New York: A large study has found that widespread wearing of surgical masks can reduce the spread of the Corona virus in communities, more than cloth masks.
Researchers from Yale University in the US tracked more than 340,000 adults in 600 villages in rural Bangladesh. The results, published as a preprint record, show that mask-wearing can have a significant impact on reducing the spread of symptomatic COVID-19, the Washington Post reports.
“I think this should basically end any scientific debate about whether masks can be effective in combating Covid at a population level,” Yale University economist Jason Abalock was quoted as saying.
Apaloc described the study as a “nail in the coffin” for the arguments against the masks.
Mask wearers saw a 9.3 percent reduction in seroprevalence with COVID-19 symptoms, meaning the virus was confirmed by blood, as well as an additional 11.9 percent reduction in COVID-19 symptoms.
However, the team emphasized that this does not mean that the masks were only 9.3 percent effective.
“I think the big mistake is to read this study and say, ‘Oh, masks can only prevent 10 percent of symptomatic infections,'” Abalock said. He said the number would likely be several times higher if the mask were global.
The Washington Post reported that the study is under review with the journal Science.
Moreover, the researchers found that while cloth masks clearly relieve symptoms, they “cannot dismiss” the idea that, unlike surgical masks, they may have only minimal effect on symptoms of coronavirus infection, and may not have any effect on launch.
However, Apaloc stressed that the research did not yield evidence that cloth masks are ineffective.
The results “do not necessarily show that surgical masks are much better than cloth masks, but we do find clearer evidence of the effectiveness of surgical masks,” he said.