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18th Nov 2021

Wearing masks is ‘single most effective way’ to beat Covid, study finds

George McKay

Boris Johnson seen maskless in hospital

Mask wearing can reduce spread of Covid by 53%, according to the study

Mask wearing has been described as the most effective tactic to beat the spread of Covid, according to a major global study.

The study, which is the first global study of this nature, says that the measure reduces incidence of the virus by as much as 53%, according to The Guardian.

The study consisted of a review and meta analysis of interventions which don’t include pharmaceuticals such as social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands.

A meta analysis is conducted by bringing together data from numerous studies which have focused on the same question. They then conduct a fresh review of the data to draw wider conclusions on a larger scale.

The report reads: “This systematic review and meta analysis suggests that several personal protective and social measures, including hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distancing are associated with reductions in the incidence of Covid-19.”

The researchers conclude the findings show clearly the need for continued non-pharmaceutical interventions in fighting the virus.

Mask wearing has become a point of controversy in certain countries, with many medical conspiracies cropping up online about negative side effects of face masks, such as lowered oxygen levels.

There is no evidence for these claims.

In England, there has been no legal requirement to wear a mask outside of healthcare settings since the summer. In Scotland, masks are still mandated in certain scenarios like pubs and public transport.

The UK prime minister Boris Johnson, has repeatedly been criticised for not wearing a mask when meeting the public and in other public engagements.

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