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Home / US Business / The United Kingdom is the most affected country outside the United States and Brazil. It will NOT have masks

The United Kingdom is the most affected country outside the United States and Brazil. It will NOT have masks

This despite the United Kingdom being one of the world's most affected coronavirus countries – it ranks third behind Brazil and the United States – with nearly 45,000 killed.

His comments came as a review of global scientific research on masking was published by an interdisciplinary group convened by the Royal Society – Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics (DELVE).

And in the United States, a new study showed that one of the most important drivers in the case now may be "silent spreaders," or people who are asymptomatic or presymptomatic.

The report, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that asymptomatic or presymptomatic hosts could be responsible for half of the cases, and highlighted how masks could be helpful in preventing the spread of the virus.

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"We have now identified compelling decades-old and apparently forgotten evidence, from the time when surgical masks were made of cloth and were reusable, which shows that they help prevent airborne infectious transmission. There is even some evidence that masks can directly benefit the user, "author Paul Edelstein, emeritus professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said.

Edlestein explained: "There are people with no symptoms going on in their daily activities who unconsciously exhale drops that carry the virus. If they had their face covered, most of these drops would have been caught before they could infect other people. Facial coatings can help save lives and prevent the deactivation of diseases. "

So if the basics are" easy to understand ", as Edlestein said, why is Britain so reluctant to clamp on masks?

Becoming an outlier

Another report from the Royal Society & # 39; s SET-C (Science in Emergencies Tasking Covid-19 group) and British Academy, attempts to explain. It looks at the social-behavioral factors that can affect the uptake of mask wear – and points to the importance of clear and consistent authority policies and messages around masks for compliance.

It was found that by the end of April in the UK, around 25% of people wore face masks or coatings in public places. This is staggeringly low compared to 83.4% in Italy and 63.8% in Spain in the same period.

  People wear face masks in Barcelona, ​​Spain, where those who do not do so in a public room meet 100 euros fine.
April was a month when the UK saw its official daily hospital death rate climb as high as 980. The government first began reporting deaths in all settings, including care homes, at the end of the month. On April 28, on a daily briefing in Downing Street, Vice President of Scientific Adviser Angela McLean said the government's scientific advisory group SAGE had concluded that there was "weak evidence of a small effect" where face masks could prevent an infected person transmitting coronavirus to someone else .
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At that time the United Kingdom was also struggling with a critical lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), with fears that widespread public use of face masks could lead to a shortage of health professionals.
In the United States, where a political and cultural war on masks is now playing as the virus continues to surge, the Trump administration's top public health experts recently defended its decision to recommend wearing masks in the earliest days of the pandemic, saying it was necessary to prevent running on equipment that was in short supply.

"I have no regrets," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during the congressional ceremony last week. "At the time, there was a lack of equipment that our health professionals needed … we didn't want to derive masks and PPE from them."

Current World Health Organization guidance, updated June 5, advises governments to encourage the public to wear masks where widespread transmission and physical distance are difficult, such as on public transport, in stores or in other crowded or crowded environments.
  Revelers pack a street outside bars in the Soho area of ​​London on July 4, as restrictions are further eased.

The only places where face masks are currently mandatory in England are on public transport, a measure brought in on June 15 and in the health care system. According to the government's website, public transport differs from enclosed spaces as shops, for example where people can more easily go outside if social distancing is not possible. "

" People can rightly ask why you have to wear a mask on a train, but not in a store. If guidance is inconsistent, people will follow their own preferences, "Ramakrishnan said. He argued that the British people may not" really understand the benefits or are not convinced of them. "

There have also been cracks in a British approach to masks, with the devolved nations having the power to decide their own coronavirus measures. Northern Ireland is on par with England in mandated masks on public transport but not shops. Scotland has gone a step further and made it mandatory to have facial coat in stores from July 10. In Wales, masks are not mandatory in stores or on public transportation.

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In Parliament on Tuesday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government would follow guidelines on whether the public should wear face masks in supermarkets and stores in England.

When asked for a timeframe for review, a spokesman for the Department of Health's government told CNN: "Facilitating measures to shut down facial coatings can help us protect one another and reduce the spread of the disease if people suffer of coronavirus, but does not show symptoms. We continue to advise individuals to use facial coatings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible.

"Everyone should keep a distance of 2 meters where possible. Where it is not possible to wear face coverage, one of the ways people can manage risk is 1 meter away. "

Although the uptake of face masks or covers may have increased in the UK since the end of April, the C report highlights how many countries have implemented a policy requiring the public to wear face masks and coatings in all public places much earlier, in mid-March 2020.

  Trump wears a mask while visiting wounded service members by Walter Reed [19659034] Trump wears a mask while visiting with wounded staff member by Walter Reed

[19659003] Taiwan, South Korea, and mainland China, all with widespread mask use, have seen greater success in preventing large outbreaks or reining them when they first begin.

When second and third waves begin to emerge in countries that has eased the coronavirus restrictions, the mask-wearing until this week has been removed and even ridiculed by the worst-hit leaders – countries – the US and Brazil – as they fight to escape a devastation the first wave of the pandemic.

President Donald Trump had refused to use the mask in public for months until a visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday. This came after some of the president's aides practically asked him to agree. It is hoped it will encourage skeptical Trump supporters to do the same. Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro is being sued for having his mask removed during an interview announcing he has a coronavirus.

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) provides two versions of forecasts for the United States: one in which everyone wears masks, and one in which they do not have one. This week, the IHME model projected as many 208,000 US coronavirus deaths by November 1, but just under 163,000 if most people wear a face mask to help contain the spread of the virus.

Why the resistance?

[19659004] "To understand why people don't use facial pads, it is important to investigate behavioral factors such as the audience's understanding of masks and how to reuse and apply pads," said Melinda Mills, director of Leverhulme Center for Demographic Science at the University of Oxford and lead author of the SET-C report.

"What is clear is that it is not the public's fault for not wearing masks in the UK. Rather, there is a consistent policy and effective public message, which has even varied in England, Scotland and Wales," claimed Mills.

In particular, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who was admitted to the intensive care unit with the virus – did not have a mask in public until Friday, but Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon still had it.

  Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, wears a face mask from Tartan when she visits a shopping park last month in Edinburgh.

Mills said that people in countries such as Italy and Spain, without a previous history of masking, "quickly adopted facial coatings during the Covid-19 period, mainly because the authorities gave them with a consistent policy and clear guidelines for understanding why they should wear them. "

Spain, which has recorded more than 28,000 deaths, for example, has legally required anyone over six years to wear face masks indoors and outdoors in public rooms when at least two meters away are not possible since 21 May. In June, the country's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ordered that this should remain even after the country's state of emergency ended on June 21.

The Set-C report, which states that consistent and effective public reporting is "important" for public compliance with the wearing of face masks and coatings, highlights a British government tweet on June 27. The report said that the "face coat makes the store safer" message in the tweet was good for its "altruism" message, but bad because it focused only on protecting others and not self-protection. The campaign image contained an elderly woman, who the report says is already in the vulnerable group and less likely to break the face coverage advice.

The report also concludes that the lack of face mask and coatings in the United Kingdom can also be attributed to factors such as "over-confidence in an evidence-based medical approach," inconsistent and changing advice from supranational organizations (WHO, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control), "and" raises concerns about PPE deficiency in surgical face masks. "

It's not too late

" As the government is ambiguous, unlike our European neighbors, the British public may end up as "the control group for the face mask experiment that the government has been demanding all along," researcher Dr. Babak Javid wrote in April, in a statement for The Guardian newspaper, while urging Britons to pick up the mask.

Since then, the Infectious Disease Consultant at Cambridge University in England and Professor at Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing have moved to the United States to assume a new position as Associate Professor of Experimental Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He noted that masks are "much more visible" in the United States than the United Kingdom, and he puts it down to the "establishment" that united around masks early in the pandemic.

In the United States, "many stores here have not hesitated to mandate masks if you want to go and use their store … stores don't seem to suffer as a result," he said in a telephone interview with CNN.

However, mask wear is by no means universal across the United States, a country where rebellion goes through its political DNA. Different states have taken different measures and passionate "anti-mask" protesters are rebelling against mandatory facial coatings. On April 3, Trump announced that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to wear masks when they leave their homes. But he declared that he would not wear one himself. "With the masks, it will really be a voluntary thing," the president said. "You can do it. You don't have to do it. I choose not to do it."
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Javid believes the United Kingdom has actually become something of a "experiment group" mask experiment, "absolutely compared to the most European countries, "though he points out that the Netherlands and the Nordic countries also have very little face masking. It's confusing, he said, "because of the UK's very long lockdown and … because the UK was hit very hard … the cases are really counting dramatically in the UK now, so it's difficult to disassociate."

"I think there is reasonably convincing evidence to suggest that mandated masks previously cut transmission rates faster in the rise phase of the outbreak," he added.

Javid believes the British government's attempt to make the mask mandate as loose as possible has meant "a very confused and rather worn message."

"They were so concerned about securing PPE supplies, so when the focus shifted to facial coatings and the reality is that not all facial pads are created equal. It's just the truth about bare bones, a loose scarf will always be less effective than a well-equipped, well-made cloth mask, "Javid argued.

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"If you're going to have a lowest common denominator message that facial pads will do, it's hard to give you a heart and say this is going to protect you. While actually a well-made cloth mask will protect you. incontrovertible. "

He said" in terms of economy masks is one of the most cost-effective interventions we can have "in the fight to stop the spread of coronaviruses. He is not in favor of" perpetual lockdown "and believes masks are a way to try to get get out of lockdown faster, but they are not the beginning and end of the pandemic. "This is not a simple solution, it is just part of a package."

  Customers like to drink in Soho, London, earlier in July, while pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers in England re-open.

After a deadly first wave of the virus, Javid thinks "it's not too late" for the UK. "Now is a great time to increase the use of masks because it can allow us to open even more and more safely This is a statement reflected by the Royal Society President Ramakrishnan, as p a: "The virus has not been eliminated, so as we lift lockdown and people are increasingly interacting with each other, we need to use every tool we have to reduce the risk of another wave of infection. "

July 4, England's pubs and restaurants swung their doors after three months of lockdown. Prime Minister Johnson urged drinkers to behave responsibly, but footage last weekend showed large crowds outside the city's pubs without social distance and few revelers wearing Since then, at least three venues have had to close again after some customers tested positive for Covid-19 after the visit that weekend.

Do we ever want to see Britons wearing masks in pubs? "The reason pubs and clubs are activities at higher risk, is because you are much more likely to engage in speech, and we know that speech is associated with transmission, "said Javid." Realistically how many people will wear a mask, take it off for a quick sip of the pint and then put it back on right away? I just don't see it happening. "

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