Coronavirus updates: NPR: Some European countries are moving to request medical masks in public places

Coronavirus updates: NPR: Some European countries are moving to request medical masks in public places

German Chancellor Angela Merkel puts on her face mask after a press conference in Berlin last week. Germany has introduced new requirements for medical masks to be worn on public transport and in stores.

Michael Capeller / AFP via Getty Images


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Michael Capeller / AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel puts on her face mask after a press conference in Berlin last week. Germany has introduced new requirements for medical masks to be worn on public transport and in stores.

Michael Capeller / AFP via Getty Images

A number of European countries announced new recommendations and requirements for masks, excluding fabric masks in favor of surgical masks or medical respirators.

In Germany, the federal and state governments took measures last week to make medical masks – which have been identified as surgical masks, KN95 or FFP2 masks – Is mandatory In stores and on public transport. It also issued a recommendation to wear medical masks whenever there is close or long-term contact with other people, especially in closed spaces.

FFP2 is a promising European standard Similar nomination To N95 or KN95 respirators.

the government He said That in light of the new variants of the Coronavirus, medical masks “provide greater protection than regular cloth masks, which are not subject to any standards regarding their effectiveness.”

“We must take the risk this variable represents very seriously, and we must slow the spread of this alternative as much as possible,” He said Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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The German state of Bavaria had already introduced rules requiring FFP2 masks in transit and in stores. The federal government announced earlier that it would do so Millions distributed Of FFP2 Masks for people over 60 with chronic illnesses.

Austria put similar rules into effect on Monday, now Require FFP2 Masks or equivalent in settings including transportation, motor vehicle use, businesses open to the public and internal and external markets. To ensure the widespread adoption of the new regulations, Austria He said It will distribute 1.2 million free masks. The supermarket chains will also hand out free masks in the early days of the new rules.

France’s Supreme Council of Public Health announced last Thursday that it is now recommending people wear surgical masks in public places, on the grounds that they provide better protection than cloth masks.

Reuters quoted French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand as saying, “The recommendation I make to the French people is not to use cloth masks anymore.”

Veran said synthetic masks are the best. “The artisanal masks that one makes at home, with the best intentions in the world … do not necessarily provide all necessary guarantees,” Ferran Tell France Inter last week.

The council now recommends that people wear Class 1 masks in public, rather than Class 2 masks, which include most cloth masks. Category 1 includes FFP2 masks, surgical masks, and fabric masks that meet specific standards. Didier Libeletier, co-chair of the council’s COVID-19 working group, has discouraged the general public from using FFP2 filter masks, though, warning that they are difficult to wear properly, Depending To domestic France.

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The National Academy of Medicine in France questioned the wisdom of the move to recommend Category 1 masks, saying, “The effectiveness of ‘common people’ masks when properly worn has never been questioned.”

“Such a change in recommendations regarding practice that enables the entire population to become familiar with it risks creating misunderstandings and reviving doubts about the validity of official recommendations,” the National Academy Wrote.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that the public use cloth masks, as long as they contain at least two layers. The CDC discourages the public from using medical masks or N95 respirators, say It should be saved for health care workers. The CDC says the non-medical disposable masks are good for the public to use.

World Health Organization Recommend Medical masks for certain groups of people who are not health care workers. Among these groups are people over the age of 60 and people with underlying health conditions, including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes, as well as people with weakened immune systems.

The World Health Organization says cloth masks are suitable for the general population under the age of 60 and without underlying health conditions.

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