The spread of the coronavirus has gone hand in hand with a multiplication of the wearing of Masks & gloves against coronavirus by the population, a measure not necessarily effective, which also jeopardizes the provision of medical personnel, according to experts.
On Monday in Paris, just before the entry into force of an unprecedented confinement, some people on the street wore surgical masks or high-level masks, called FFP2.
However, the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) are clear: the most important thing is to wash your hands, avoid touching your face and keep your distance. The mask is also intended for the sick and for those who care for a person infected with the coronavirus.
Person infected with the coronavirus
“Wearing a mask can prevent passing the disease on to another person,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO director of emergency programs.
“But there are limits to the ability of the mask to protect against contagion,” he added, “without criticizing those who wear them.”
The masks should also be reserved for medical personnel: the WHO, which estimates that it would take 89 million units a month in the fight against COVID-19, recently warned of a “rapid depletion” of protective material worldwide.
But the message doesn’t seem to reach everyone.
“I am surprised to see through the window of my ministry all these people on the street wearing masks (…) when this does not correspond to the recommendations,” declared the French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on Monday, also denouncing the “robberies in hospitals “of this material.
“I’m not sick, but I have children and an older mother, so just in case, I prefer to wear a mask,” Mariam, 35, justifies herself to the AFP, closing the door of her vehicle with a hand sheathed in a glove. latex.
False sense of security – Masks & gloves against coronavirus
This mother, who does not want to give her last name, admits to having obtained the mask thanks to “the mother of a friend who works in a hospital”, a place where medical personnel begin to miss them.
Wearing a mask can also be counterproductive, since the rules of use are strict: wash your hands before, place it so that air cannot pass, do not touch it once on the face, wash your hands immediately if that happens .. .
But “people are all the time touching their mask and that is how we can catch it since if the virus is in that place, it will be on the mask,” explains the director general of Health in France, Jérôme Salomon.
The risk is similar for gloves – Masks & gloves against coronavirus
“If people don’t stop touching their faces, (the gloves) are useless,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Safety in the United States, told AFP.
The virus is not transmitted through the skin but when the hand or glove transfers the infected droplets to the nose or mouth.
According to a study published in 2015 in the American Journal of Infection Control, on average we touch our faces about twenty times every hour.
In addition, “wearing gloves can give a false sense of security,” insists Dr. Adalja, noting that hospital ones, which are not intended for daily life, can easily break.
And “if you wear gloves, you don’t wash your hands anymore,” adds Véran.
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