Coronavirus: Wearing surgical masks can reduce COVID-19 spread by 75%, study claims

published 18.05.2020 14:49

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At the start of the pandemic, which started in China, there was a rush to buy face masks in Hong Kong, where people remember the impact of SARS.

Dr Yuen told a press conference on Sunday: "In our hamster experiment, it shows very clearly that if infected hamsters or humans - especially asymptomatic or symptomatic ones - put on masks, they actually protect other people.

The infection rate dropped by about 35% when masks were placed on the healthy hamsters' cage.

According to a study by a team in Hong Kong, the rate at which the virus was transmitted through airborne particles or respiratory droplets was lowered by as much as 75% when masks were used.

Walking around without a face mask in Hong Kong, Japan or North Korea is seen as irresponsible, and several US states are also now advising people to wear them when out.