More than 4.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, and the death toll has crossed 3,04,000, according to the latest figures. The US is the worst hit country, claiming the lives of more than 87,000 people. As the virus continues to wreak havoc, a study conducted by an international team of researchers says wearing masks in public could successfully slow down the community spread of the coronavirus.
Face Masks: The New-Age Condoms
The study revealed that coronavirus positive cases will plunge drastically if 80 per cent of people start wearing face masks. Even though the study report is peer-reviewed, experts believe that universal masking is the only way to contain the coronavirus until the day scientists successfully develop a coronavirus vaccine.
The researchers also noted that wearing face masks is much more effective than maintaining strict lockdown measures.
"Universal masking at 80% adoption flattens the curve significantly more than maintaining a strict lockdown. Masking at only 50% adoption (orange) is not sufficient to prevent the continued spread. Replacing the strict lockdown with social distancing on May 31 without masking results in the unchecked spread," the researchers said.
The study also noted that several countries including Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan that have a tradition of wearing face masks even during non-pandemic times have seen drastic reductions in the number of coronavirus positive cases from their respective peaks.
Face Masks are the New Normal
It was in 1959 that medical experts first documented an HIV infection. Even after vigorous efforts, scientists have failed to develop an effective vaccine for the deadly pathogen. However, AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease, and wearing a condom will help people stay safe.
Many medical experts believe that the same scenario holds good for the coronavirus. Contrary to HIV, the coronavirus can be transmitted from one person to another very easily, as it spreads if the infected person coughs or sneezes. As the healthcare sector has not succeeded in developing a vaccine for COVID-19, the use of face masks and social distancing are the only options now.