The Academy of Medicine recommends wearing a cloth mask

The artisanal mask filters 70% of the viral particles, underlines the assembly of the sages. Who insists: “We must see this as a tool for collective fight against the Covid-19, and not as a tool for personal protection”. And you must keep all other precautionary gestures, hand washing and distancing.

How long will the Minister of Health still be able to say that wearing a mask is not a “scientifically useful” precaution? Studies are multiplying to prove that even hand-made masks have a certain effectiveness against Covid-19, whose size of viral particles is indeed very small. This Saturday morning, the members of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium (ARMB) bluntly affirm that “the current shortage must encourage the manufacture of more masks without denying protection to the population”. The sages of the academy, made up of the finest medical specialists in our country, recall that “the scientific community has always clearly stated that only surgical masks can offer almost maximum protection”. Noting that “this situation does not allow citizens to be equipped with surgical masks, the wearing of tissue masks, called” alternative “, has become popular”. Today, the Academy is keen to give the public an opinion issued on the basis of international scientific knowledge: “This handcrafted face cover allows filtration of 70% of viral particles. Surgical masks filter 89%, explains Pr Jean-Michel Foidart, Perpetual Secretary of the Belgian Academy of Medicine. It is therefore an effective substitute until surgical masks are again available to all. ”

The Academy insists: “This opinion is only valid during this period of Covid-19 and especially during the shortage of FFP2 and FFP3 surgical masks which must firstly be reserved for nursing staff at home, in hospitals and nursing homes “. The Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine advocates that a sufficient stock is quickly available for these people and for the population.

The Academy therefore recommends that the population as a whole use this tool now and during the period of deconfinement. “We must see this as a tool for collective fight against Covid-19, and not as a tool for personal protection. The aim is to slow the spread of droplets in the social space and therefore limit the possibility that the virus will spread. transmit “.

The Academy nevertheless recalls that these artisanal masks, like surgical masks, must be handled with great care so as not to make their use dangerous and contaminating: “A fabric mask can not be worn for more than 6 hours, recalls Prof Jean-Michel Foidart. It must be correctly placed to avoid leaks; cover the nose, mouth and chin. The mask must be removed by the elastic bands, without touching the front of it. The user must immediately wash your hands after removing it. You should also make sure to wash this mask frequently, ideally once a day, at 80 degrees “. The Academy insists that the effectiveness of these masks will be reduced if it is not combined with frequent hand washing and social distancing measures (more than two meters).

ARMB members believe that these masks “could have a substantial impact on transmission without significantly affecting social and economic life, particularly in a context of future deconfinement”.

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