Otago Daily Times

Sci­en­tists want Swedes to mask up

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STOCK­HOLM: Swe­den should re­think its de­ci­sion not to rec­om­mend the use of face masks to pre­vent the spread of the novel coro­n­avirus, amid a sec­ond wave of in­fec­tions, the Royal Academy of Sci­ences, which awards the No­bel prizes, said yes­ter­day.

Swe­den’s soft­touch pan­demic re­sponse has fo­cused mostly on vol­un­tary so­cial dis­tanc­ing and the Pub­lic Health Agency has cast doubt on the ef­fec­tive­ness of face masks, which are manda­tory in much of Europe.

The academy re­port said face masks could play a role in re­duc­ing in­fec­tion.

‘‘I hope there is now a de­bate and lead­ers, ir­re­spec­tive of what the pub­lic health au­thor­ity is say­ing, will take this to heart,’’ Staffan Nor­mark, head of the academy’s ex­pert group on Covid­19, said.

More than 6300 Swedes have died from Covid­19 and Swe­den in­tro­duced its tough­est mea­sures this week, cut­ting pub­lic gath­er­ings to a max­i­mum of eight peo­ple. — Reuters

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