Coronavirus is an infectious disease that has been confirmed in more than 20 million people across the world. ITV Good Morning Britain star Dr Hilary Jones has explained the importance of wearing a face covering in the fight against COVID-19.
The UK-wide lockdown is slowly being eased, as shoppers are now allowed to explore the high-street in England, provided they remain socially-distanced.
But the government has still advised the public to remain at home as much as possible, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
If you are to venture out to shops or tourist attractions, you must wear a face covering whenever you’re indoors.
However, Dr Hilary explained that simply being outside isn’t a protection in itself.
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Wearing a face covering significantly reduces the risk of spreading the infection, he said.
You’re safer to be half a metre away from somebody wearing a face covering, compared with two metres away from somebody that isn’t.
Scientists have confirmed that face masks add an extra layer of protection around the public.
They form a barrier against droplets that are spread from coughing and sneezing.
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Wearing a simple face covering reduces the number of droplets being sprayed by more than 1,000 times.
“Just being outside is not an absolute protector,” said Dr Hilary.
“Interestingly, some research coming out has shown that if someone is coughing wearing a mask there is 10,000 times less droplet transmission to two metre away.
“It’s actually safer to be 0.5m away from someone wearing a mask than 2m away if they’re not wearing a mask.
“So it kind of adds to the research that masks are important.”
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have confirmed that cotton masks are very effective in reducing the spread of droplets.
They urged the public to wear face masks whenever they can.
“We knew face masks of various materials are effective to a different extent in filtering small droplets,” said Dr Ignazio Maria Viola.
“However, when we looked specifically at those larger droplets that are thought to be the most dangerous, we discovered that even the simplest handmade single-layer cotton mask is tremendously effective.”
Anybody that feels hot to the touch on their chest or back could be showing early coronavirus symptoms.
Similarly, anyone that’s been coughing more than usual for longer than a one-hour period, or if they’ve had at least three coughing episodes every 24 hours, should self-isolate.
Some patients have also reported a sore throat, headaches, and even hiccups.
More than 46,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.
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