Mask-wearing cuts Covid incidence by 53% - study

Mask-wearing cuts Covid incidence by 53% - study

Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid, reducing incidence by 53%, the first global study of its kind shows.

Vaccines are safe and effective and saving lives around the world. But most do not confer 100% protection, most countries have not vaccinated everyone, and it is not yet known if jabs will prevent future transmission of emerging coronavirus variants, The Guardian reported.

Researchers at Monash University and the University of Edinburgh say multi-faceted measures, such as lockdowns and closures of borders, schools and workplaces need further analysis to assess their potential negative effects on populations.

Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing.

Handwashing also indicated a substantial 53% reduction in Covid incidence, although this was not statistically significant after adjusting for the small number of handwashing studies included.

Detailed analysis was not possible for other measures, including quarantine and isolation, universal lockdowns, and closures of borders, schools, and workplaces, due to differences in study design, outcome measures and quality, the researchers said.