Public health expert: Masks should be worn wherever people gather

Face masks should be worn everywhere people gather, Professor Ģirts Briģis, head of the public health and epidemiology department of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU), said in an interview to Latvian Radio October 12.

Briģis said that the face mask does not fully protect from infection, as it may get through the fabric. However, it does slow down spread of the virus with saliva. Any mask with multiple layers of fabric may be effective and protective.

It is important to wear the face mask correctly. A person will be more protected from the virus if he or she uses a face mask and goggles at the same time.

The RSU professor said that international studies on the effectiveness of face masks in limiting COVID-19 prevalence continue. A very extensive study with the involvement of several thousand people is being carried out by Danish scientists.

“We await the results, but there is confidence that there will be positive results that masks have a role to play [in limitation of the virus],” Brigis said.

He did not rule out the possibility that Latvia will experience a moment when face masks must be used when one leaves the house. In a number of countries where the COVID-19 rate is high, people already use masks throughout their daily lives. 

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