Make It Mandatory To Wear A Mask Or Brace For The Second Wave Of Coronavirus Infections


Press Statement By Julian Tan:

There are already 120 countries making masks compulsory in public and shown significant differences in terms of death rates and widespread of Coronavirus, a stark difference to countries where people are not wearing face masks.

As we move into the Recovery Movement Control Order phase in a bid to resuscitate the domestic economy, which was reportedly losing 2.4billion ringgit daily based on estimates by Barclays, more people can be seen been exposed to each other in close contact, risking the spread of COVID-19.

A short tour in Kuching town this morning, in many places, some can be seen putting off guard by not wearing a mask nor observing social distancing, and this is very worrying. Other places such as government agencies or polyclinics, at times it is inevitable to have more than expected people turn up hence even with the proper measure in place, many still failed to practice safe social distancing or wearing a mask in a correct way. “we can even see people started to smoke in eatery places, what more following throughpreventive measure on COVID”. Thus, the debate that wearing mask give a false sense of security no more applicable during the recovery stage as people already expose to each other due to the easing and non-adherent to SOP.

On the contrary, face masks are designed to protect people from the wearer. Especially if the person is an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19, it is important to take note that no amount of onsite SOP, such as temperature taking can identify such a person. Studies have shown the effectiveness of mask blocking such droplets from the mouth, which is one of the primary sources of how COVID-19 spread. The latest joint study conducted by researchers from various universities such as University College London, University of Cambridge, Population Research Institute Finland, and others shows that even with 80 percent of the population wearing masks, it would do more to reduce COVID-19 spread than a strict lock down. Masking is nearly perfectly correlated with lower daily growth or strong reduction from peak growth of COVID-19. In a simple term, it is the best measure for people who have COVID-19 to protect them from giving COVID-19 to other people, yet one can still be benefited from wearing a mask even if he or she is not a COVID-19 carrier.

Universal Masking is Urgent in the COVID-19 Pandemic: SEIR and Agent Based Models, Empirical Validation, Policy Recommendations. 
Latest Research By University College London , University Of Cambridge and Population Research Institute Finland.

With that, I would like to urge the authorities to make wearing a mask mandatory and stern enforcement to ensure the public is following the SOP in place. This could be the only way for us to control the spread of COVID-19 without compromising the livelihoods of the people. Least all our efforts over the past few months wasted and equally important our efforts in post-COVID-19 economic recovery.