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KN95 facemask order could be relaxed as Covid-19 abates

In light of ultra hot weather and fewer cases, Health Bureau mulls whether facemasks, while highly effective at preventing contagion, will still be necessary.

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In light of ultra hot weather and fewer cases, Health Bureau mulls whether facemasks, while highly effective at preventing contagion, will still be necessary.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

The Health Bureau (SSM) has pledged to study whether wearing KN95 facemasks outdoors will continue to be mandatory, as the city’s current Covid-19 outbreak continues to subside.

It has been compulsory to wear KN95 facemasks since 11 July when out and about as the Omicron variant which struck Macao in June is highly contagious.

According to the Health Bureau, a KN95 facemask can provide an 83 per cent rate of protection against Covid-19 infection, higher than the 66 per cent provided by a surgical mask. However, the government does not recommend children use a KN95 facemask as it is less breathable than a surgical mask.

Speaking at the daily Covid-19 briefing, Lei Wai Seng, a clinical director of the Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said masks could become optional after it was pointed out that wearing a KN95 facemask when out and about during the current extremely hot weather makes people feel even more uncomfortable.

Lei said that with the Covid-19 outbreak abating, the SSM will closely monitor and assess whether hidden transmission chains have been cleared in the community, while it will also study whether there is still a need for people to wear a KN95 facemask outdoors. But Lei was quick to reaffirm that wearing a KN95 facemask can more effectively prevent Covid-19 infection compared to a surgical mask, The Macau Post Daily reported.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

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