New Delhi: The cloth mask vs N95 and surgical mask has started again. Experts have warned that Omicron can be unsparing, therefore, it is best to ditch the cloth mask, which is merely a fashion accessory.
“They can be really good or really terrible,” depending on what fabric is used, said Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care services at the University of Oxford, Bloomberg reported.
According to Greenhalg, double or triple-layer masks made of a mix of materials can be more effective, but most cloth coverings are just “fashion accessories.
With Omicron cases surging worldwide, governments are tightening restrictions to try and stop its spread. After relaxing the rules in summer, Britain has reintroduced compulsory mask-wearing on public transport, shops and in some indoor venues.
Cloth masks don’t have to meet any health standard, whereas N95 respirator masks manufacturers have to ensure they filter out 95% of particles.
Still, good filtration is useless if the mask doesn’t cover your nose and mouth properly. You also need to be able to breathe easily through the mask, Greenhalgh was quoted as saying.
“The issue here is if you have a single-layer, the ability to filtrate is absolutely minimal and doesn’t make a difference whatsoever,” Peter Juni, head of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table said in an interview with CTV news last week.