- There have been infinite debates over whether or not to use face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic
- In the early stages of the outbreak, this issue caused immense confusion with conflicting accounts on the subject
- Briefly.co.za explores why the use of masks is encouraged, regardless of whether you are sick or not
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From the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, images of face masks being used became synonymous with the outbreak.
Despite this, the topic has been hotly debated with some saying wearing a mask offers protection from the virus, while others claimed it could potentially spread it.
However, recent statistics from overseas has shown a vital phenomenon that has made it more vital than ever to don a mask.
In the beginning, flu-like symptoms were used as a screening method to determine who possibly has the virus. If you have symptoms like a cough and high fever, it was a likely indicator of a potential infection.
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The new data has revealed that roughly 50% of people who contract the coronavirus are asymptomatic, meaning that they do not show the most common symptoms.
This information has changed the way many nations respond to the essentially undetectable virus, including reinforced encouragement to wear masks.
With infected people not necessarily aware that they have contracted the virus due to the lack of symptoms, it means more citizens are likely to come into contact with Covid-19.
The government has strongly encouraged everyone to make use of cloth masks in a statement on the issue:
"Since some persons with the coronavirus may not have symptoms or may not know they are infected, everyone should wear a facemask. The National Department of Health therefore recommends that everyone in South Africa should wear a cloth face-mask (also known as a non-medical mask) when in public. Commuters travelling in taxis and other forms of public transport, as well as people spending time in spaces where physical distancing is difficult to practice, are particularly encouraged to wear cloth face-masks."
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