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The French High Commission for Public Health issues a warning: Use cloth masks with caution
  The French High Commission for Public Health issues a warning: Use cloth masks with caution
Agence France-Presse

Haiwaiwang, January 19th. Facing the more infectious new strain of the new coronavirus, the French High Commission for Public Health (HCSP) warned the public to use fabric masks with caution. And parts of Austria and Germany have required FFP2 masks with higher protection.

According to France’s BFM television station, the French High Commission for Public Health stated that in view of the spread of new strains of the new coronavirus in some countries, the public is advised to stop using fabric masks that have not been certified by the French Association for Standardization (Afnor). The committee explained that the filterability of the second type of mask or fabric mask is only 70%, while the filterability of the first type of mask and surgical mask is as high as 90%. The High Commission for Public Health also recommended increasing the safe interpersonal distance from one meter to two meters. These recommendations will be submitted to the French Ministry of Health.

A study published by the French National Institute of Health and Medicine (Inserm) on the 18th showed that in the first week of January, new strains of the new coronavirus accounted for 1.4% of confirmed patients in France, but from the end of February to mid-March, this The new strain will dominate the spread of the virus in France, so it is necessary to strengthen protective measures and accelerate the vaccination campaign to deal with the threat of new coronavirus variants. Otherwise, by mid-February to early April, the number of weekly hospitalizations in France will reach the level of the peak of the first wave of epidemics.

In the context of the spread of new strains of the new coronavirus, Bavaria, Germany, has decided to force people over the age of 14 to wear FFP2 masks in public transportation systems and commercial places from the 18th, or masks with the same or higher protective effect as FFP2 masks , Such as KN95 and N95 masks. The regional government explained in a statement that “effective infection prevention measures are better than blockades that are too long and cause greater damage to the economy.” According to a report in Der Spiegel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering a country FFP2 masks are mandatory in some places. In addition, Austria has also required to wear FFP2 masks.
However, the promotion of wearing FFP2 masks is not yet in the plan of the French government. According to the French Ministry of Economy, FFP2 masks are one of the most protective masks, which can protect the wearer from inhaling infectious particles in the air. But in France, these masks are mainly reserved for health professionals and workers in some industries such as construction and industry to prevent inhalation of viruses, dust, and toxic emissions particles.

On the other hand, FFP2 masks also have drawbacks, such as greater resistance to breathing and higher prices. In France, although the price of FFP2 masks has dropped significantly, it is still nearly 10 times that of surgical masks. Medical professionals are also worried that wearing FFP2 masks will give people a "false sense of security". Although its protective effect is much higher than that of fabric masks, it is only effective when worn correctly. (Overseas Network-Paris-Lu Jia)
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