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Expert: Wearing face masks is crucial to curbing COVID-19 spread

13.11.2020

MINSK, 13 November (BelTA) – Wearing face masks is crucial to reducing the number of new COVID-19 cases, BelTA learned from Yuri Gorbich, the head of the infectious and children's diseases department of the Belarusian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education.

“Wearing face masks, just like social distancing, is one the necessary, crucial steps to reduce the number of new cases in the country. If a carrier of the coronavirus wears a face mask, the risk of disease transmission is two times less. If two people, a carrier and a non-carrier, wear face masks, the non-carrier's risk of getting infected is near the level of a statistical error,” Yuri Gorbich said.

Wearing face masks on public transport is absolutely necessary, he noted. For example, the risk of disease transmission on a bus is high, because in cold weather all windows are closed, there is almost no air movement, and people stand close to each other, especially during rush hours.

The risk of getting COVID-19 outdoors is very low. “There is little sense in wearing a face mask in a park, where people keep a distance of 1.5 meters anyway. However, being in a crowd is a different story,” Yuri Gorbich added.

Wearing face masks has become mandatory in many regions of Belarus. People must wear face masks at workplaces and in all public places. Face masks are also compulsory on public transport, including fixed-route taxis, metro, and taxis.

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