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Widespread facemask use could shrink the ‘R’ number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave – study

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  • Widespread facemask use could shrink the ‘R’ number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave – study

    Widespread facemask use could shrink the ‘R’ number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave – study

    Fred Lewsey
    Communications team
    Published
    10 Jun 2020

    Even basic homemade masks can significantly reduce transmission if enough people wear them when in public, according to latest modelling. Researchers call for information campaigns that encourage the making and wearing of facemasks.

    We have little to lose from the widespread adoption of facemasks, but the gains could be significant
    Renata Retkute


    Population-wide use of facemasks keeps the coronavirus ‘reproduction number’ under 1.0, and prevents further waves of the virus when combined with lockdowns, a modelling study led by the University of Cambridge suggests.

    The research suggests that lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2, and that even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce transmission rates if worn by enough people, regardless of whether they show symptoms.

    The researchers call for information campaigns across wealthy and developing nations alike that appeal to our altruistic side: 'my facemask protects you, your facemask protects me'. The findings are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

    “Our analyses support the immediate and universal adoption of facemasks by the public,” said lead author Dr Richard Stutt, part of a team that usually models the spread of crop diseases at Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences.

    “If widespread facemask use by the public is combined with physical distancing and some lockdown, it may offer an acceptable way of managing the pandemic and reopening economic activity long before there is a working vaccine.”
    ...
    https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/...-19-wave-study
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
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