Face masks are essential to halt the spread of COVID-19

The Mexican President and many government officials fail to wear face masks

Face masks are essential to halt the spread of COVID-19
The World Health Organization said that the COVID-19 cases have decreased in the countries where prevention measures are followed rigorously - Photo: Panuwat Dangsungnoen
English 28/07/2020 08:56 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:04
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Almost six months after the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency, when governments worldwide started to register COVID-19 cases, yesterday the organization congratulated four countries for the way they handled the novel coronavirus outbreaks: Canada, China, Germany, and South Korea.

The World Health Organization said that the COVID-19 cases have decreased in the countries where prevention measures are followed rigorously. On the other hand, in countries where people disregard these measures, the cases increase. 

What are those measures? For the WHO, efficient leadership, educational campaigns, the use of face masks, testing, hygiene measures, and physical distancing measures are the necessary measures to halt the spread of the virus. Has Mexico implemented these same measures? Yes, all of them; however, the country hasn’t been able to halt new outbreaks and deaths. For example, a few days ago, the country registered a new surge in contagions in one day: over 8,000 new cases, the main reason behind the exponential increase is that the implementation of prevention measures lacks uniformity. 

When the pandemic started, the federal government said it would not carry out massive testing but some local governments took a different path and started to deploy testing brigades to test as many people as possible. 

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While the federal government doubts the effectiveness of face masks, some cities and states declared the use of face masks as an obligation. Furthermore, a large part of the population decided to wear a face mask. 

Common sense dictates that if two people communicate in person, while they maintain physical distance and wear a face mask, the risk of contracting COVID-19 decreases. Several studies have confirmed the effectiveness of these measures since the main source of contagion is the particles emitted from the nose or mouth when a person speaks, coughs, or sneezes.

Amid the presence of a highly contagious virus, those leading the country must implement the prevention measures recommended by experts and institutions like the World Health Organization. There is a lot you can win and very little to lose if you follow the recommendations. For example, prevent hundreds or thousands of deaths. Acknowledging the usefulness of face masks is urgent. 

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