Many infection doctors recommend the use of masks and wonder about the report on the use of face masks published by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) on Friday.
In hospital settings, mouth-nose protectors prevent staff infections so that staff do not become infected. They also work the other way around so that staff do not spread infections. The same principle works among citizens when protective equipment is used correctly. In healthcare, the use of face shields is essential, so according to the same principle, mouthguards should be used in cramped spaces also among citizens.
According to experts, the face masks in use prevent both the spread of the infection and the acquisition of the infection. Many experts believe that the government should definitely take a stand on the use of protective equipment in certain situations, such as cramped crowds and public transport, as well as those at risk, and recommend it.
Regardless of the face mask and its quality, it prevents the droplets from spreading. A high-quality respirator also prevents infection. According to experts, the use of face shields in Finland should be recommended in situations where there are people close to each other.
The use of face masks is a necessary means of protection in congested areas, together with the already recommended methods of protection, ie hand washing, safety intervals and proper coughing techniques.
STM's position sounds absurd after these expert comments. The STM study has not taken into account the latest research results on the Covid-19 virus, for which protection in Finland has not been considered necessary. STM's conclusions are based on the lack of sufficient research data on the effects of the use of face masks. There is no research data on other measures taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic, but they have still been implemented. The lack of information on whether the use of face masks does not mean that the use of face masks in the population would not be one effective means of combating the corona epidemic.
Many countries around the world have already relied on the latest research data and require face masks in public transport as well as in confined spaces. Recommendations for the use of face masks cannot be based on their poor availability and the availability of masks is improving all the time.