Make face masks mandatory in UK workplaces, urges BMA | Coronavirus epidemic


Wearing face masks in all offices and work environments should be mandatory, unless you are working alone, the British Medical Association (BMA) urged.

Publishing recommendations to protect public health amid the pandemic, Britain’s doctors’ union said the public was at risk of losing confidence in coronavirus measures because of the government’s’ inconsistent ‘message.

He added that clearer and stronger measures were needed to control the spread of Covid-19, as the government prepared to unveil a three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions on Monday.

BMA chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul criticized the government’s message after the initial lockdown was lifted and said he played a role in the resurgence of the virus.

He said: ‘The infection has increased following the rapid easing of measures and with the Westminster government letting its guard down – as recently as August the government was encouraging people to travel, go to work and to mix in restaurants and pubs.

“The government has a duty to regain public confidence and faith in the steps taken to regain control of the spread of the virus. It must also provide the financial support businesses need to enable them to secure Covid premises and settings while providing clear rules on what “Secure Covid” means. “

The BMA also said vulnerable people should be given medical-grade masks that protect the wearer and prevent transmission. The World Health Organization has recommended this course of action.

Surgical or medical-grade masks further filter droplets that may contain the virus from the air when the wearer breathes. Some studies suggest that a single-layer cloth mask only filters about 3% and a triple-layer cloth mask about 60%. A medical mask will stop at 86%.

The BMA also recommended that low-income people and benefit recipients also receive masks. So will those who are entitled to free prescriptions or have children eligible for free school meals, he urged.

Nagpaul said there was an inconsistency in directions regarding wearing face masks and how and when to mix socially.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggled to explain the lockdown rules and public confidence in the government was severely damaged by Dominic Cummings’ trip with his wife and child to Durham.

As coronavirus cases rise sharply, along with increasing hospital admissions, BMA recommendations include: changing the ‘rule of six’ so that only two households can meet, ideally outdoors rather than inside; provide financial support to businesses to secure their Covid premises and improve the NHS testing and traceability application to provide more detailed information on infection rates locally.

He also called for face masks to be mandatory in all work environments, and for stricter guidelines for people to wear masks outdoors where a distance of 2 meters is not possible.

In June, the World Health Organization changed its advice on face masks, saying they could provide “a barrier against potentially infectious droplets” after previously arguing that there was not enough evidence to support it. say that healthy people should wear masks.

Some members of the public are skeptical about wearing masks. Some claim that the viral particles are so small that they can penetrate the fabric of a face mask and that the masks can prevent oxygen inhalation. Medical experts say the masks block airborne droplets that are a major route of infection and are effective in reducing transmission. British doctors have posted videos of themselves measuring their blood oxygen levels to show that wearing a mask should not affect oxygen supply.

The WHO said cloth masks would need to be made of at least three layers of different materials to be effective. The vast majority of coronavirus transmissions occur indoors, studies suggest.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) said government actions have been guided by expert advice at every stage of the pandemic.

“We have been clear from the start that public compliance with self-isolation rules and social distancing measures is absolutely essential to prevent the spread of the virus,” she said.

“We have introduced financial support to help people isolate themselves and simplify the rules of social distancing, through the rule of six and our ‘hands’. Face. Space campaign … our response ensured that the NHS was not overwhelmed, even at the peak of the virus, so that everyone could still get the best possible care.

She added that nearly 700,000 people “who otherwise could have spread a coronavirus without knowing it” were contacted via the NHS test and tracing and ordered to isolate themselves.

However, most people in the UK who have Covid-19 or who are a contact with someone who has tested positive fail to fully isolate themselves, government science advisers have warned.


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