Otago Daily Times

Scientists want Swedes to mask up


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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