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Cloth masks will not protect you

An infectious disease specialist has warned that people should wear surgical masks, as cloth masks offer less protection against Covid-19

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Dr Thanaphan Phibunbannakit from Bangkok’s Phramongkutklao Hospital urged the government to procure surgical masks to combat the current outbreak. On Tuesday, Thailand logged 4,662 new cases and 36 fatalities.

Dr Thanaphan warned that people waiting for their second jab or an alternative vaccine were at risk of Covid-19 infection.

They were also in danger of neglecting basic hygiene practices that protect against the virus, he added.

“We are so worried about vaccine brands or virus mutations that we forget the principle that we will not be infected with Covid-19 if we do not come into contact with it,” he said.

He pointed out that while cloth masks can prevent the spread of Covid-19, they cannot protect wearers from being infected. Cloth masks do not have an aluminium strip to keep the mask tightly fitted, so they can drop down when wearers are talking, he added.

“Therefore, the government must procure surgical masks to give away or sell at cheap prices. Meanwhile, it must publicise how to wear face masks properly,” he said.

He added that a face mask can protect people from all Covid-19 variants, but only if it is worn properly.

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