There wasn’t any “convincing evidence” for fabric face coverings used in community settings, the official COVID-19 inquiry has heard.
‘It Won’t Work’
Ms. Harries told the ongoing COVID-19 probe, which will cost around £100 million [$118 million], that the evidence for mask-wearing varied depending on what materials it was made from.
For example, a “one or two-layer cloth covering‘ is ’not particularly effective,” she said
“So even within the face covering, there’s a difference. If somebody doesn’t wear it appropriately, it won’t work,” she added.
“The problem we had there was that there appeared to be a view permeating through, and a real concern and risk, that it was being conceived that if you did one metre (social distancing) and you wore a face covering slung round your cheek, or whatever it might be, that was fine,” she said.
She also told the inquiry: “The first question was, shouldn’t you be encouraging this? There’s no harm.”She said that an issue for her, as well as the former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam was that “we definitely shouldn’t be supporting something which was not evidence-based if it was going to promote a risk compensation.”
“Of course, face coverings, as I know you‘ll be aware, is a wholly polarised debate and it’s quite difficult to maintain a central position, if I’d said, ‘Don’t do any of this,’ somebody would have challenged back and said, ‘Well, surely there’s no harm,’” she said.She added that her “main concern was it would have been conceived as a safer way of moving about just when we got through the first tragic wave of a pandemic.”
“For the average member of the public walking down a street, it is not a good idea,” she told the BBC.
‘Weak’The Epoch Times has seen a Public Health Wales document which is used in employment tribunals when staff dispute masks, which points out surgical type cloth masks don’t work against Sars-Cov aerosols.
“Surgical masks do not protect against SARS-CoV aerosols, FFP3 masks should be worn if this level of protection is required, as stated in IPC03 Standard Precautions Procedure,” it says.
NPI, also known as “public health and social measures,” is any public health intervention not primarily based on medication.
The report looked at a total of 151 studies reporting on the effectiveness of NPIs implemented in the community to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the UK. The report concluded that “there is a lack of strong evidence on the effectiveness of NPIs to reduce COVID-19 transmission.”