While Europe agrees to return restrictions to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant, countries are not all taking the same measures. Some states have thus decided to increase their requirements on protective masks against Covid-19, by making the wearing of FFP2 masks compulsory. As reported by L’Express, this is particularly the case for Italy and Austria. Some regions of Germany, such as Bavaria and Lower Saxony, also require it in shops.
But in France, the measure struggles to convince. It must be said that the effectiveness of this mask largely depends on its proper use. Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist at the Institute of Global Health in Geneva, explains in the weekly: “It is better to wear correctly a surgical mask or a fabric mask well adapted to the shape of the face, covering the nose and the mouth, rather than ‘an ill-fitting FFP2 “. The doctor acknowledges, however, that “if you wear a new FFP2 mask, well adjusted to the face, you are probably better protected”.
The question of price
If many Europeans have adopted it, the lack of communication from the French government on the subject may explain the ignorance of its citizens about this protection system. “As the FFP2 mask is more expensive than the others, if the government recommended it, it would risk having to offer it for free in cases where it was required and this might not excite him, and in any case not rush his decision, “said Antoine Flahault in L’Express.
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But the resurgence of the epidemic and the number of record cases recorded in recent days in France could change the situation, while many scientists recommend the use of FFP2 masks. In an opinion delivered on December 8, the Scientific Council advised the wearing of this device for “the most fragile or unvaccinated people, as soon as possible”.
According to a study published on December 7, with the wearing of a surgical mask, the maximum risk of infection for two people in the same room is less than 30%, even after an hour. A risk that drops to 0.4% if both individuals wear an FFP2 mask.
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