German RKI recommends every citizen to wear a mask after they told us 1 month ago that they are useless. (even homemades are good)
Source: Tagesschau (deutsch)
For a long time, the RKI had only advised people with respiratory diseases to wear mouth and nose protection in public. Now the authority is changing its assessment – combined with a warning.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has now officially changed its assessment of wearing mouth and nose protection. The website with the Corona recommendations of the RKI now says that such a simple protective mask can reduce the risk of “infecting another person by coughing, sneezing or speaking”.
It can be assumed that “makeshift masks” also have a protective effect – in other words, those that are sewn at home. And the RKI now explicitly points out that such masks can also have a psychological effect: They could “support awareness of ‘physical distancing’ and health-conscious behavior”.
RKI: Do not neglect hygiene rules with a mask
The RKI therefore now recommends the “precautionary wearing” of mouth and nose protection in public – even if you yourself have no symptoms. Not everyone notices that he is infected with the corona virus, but can still be contagious. Previously, the RKI had only recommended mouthguards for people with acute respiratory diseases.
However, the RKI continues to emphasize that such simple masks do not themselves protect the wearer from infection. And it indicates that wearing masks should under no circumstances result in the usual hygiene rules such as frequent hand washing or a safe distance from other people being disregarded.
Duty to wear masks is viewed critically
The RKI’s swing was preceded by a call from leading hygienists to encourage people to wear mouth and nose protection in public. Hospital hygienists also reject the obligation to wear mouth and nose protection, as will apply from next week in Thuringia in Jena or in the district of Nordhausen. “It would result in us removing the masks that they need more urgently, such as nurses and hospital staff,” said Peter Walger, spokesman for the board of the German Society for Hospital Hygiene, the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.
Virologist Christian Drosten spoke expressly in favor of making maksen himself. This is a “smart idea”, especially given the shortage of medical masks, he told the NDR .
From mouth protection to FFP3 mask
Clinics complain about a lack of protective clothing, at the same time it is more often said that citizens should wear masks when shopping. How does that fit together? There are different types of masks.
The debates about the lack of protective clothing for clinics and the possible mask requirement for people when shopping are sometimes confusing, because there is always talk of masks, but there are considerable differences. The spectrum ranges from certified special masks to simple, self-made fabric masks.
However, all are so-called half masks that do not cover the entire face, as is the case with gas masks, for example.
Home-made mouth-nose protection (MNS)
There are already numerous instructions on the Internet for producing mouth-nose protection. They can be sewn from fabric, fleece is particularly recommended. One thing is clear: such an MNS does not offer the wearer protection against infection by viruses.
Respirators with owls, dinosaurs, llamas and monkeys: Small companies try to make a contribution with cheerful printed face masks. However, such masks do not protect the respective wearer against viruses.
But simple cloth masks can collect droplets, for example when speaking, coughing or sneezing, and thus protect others from infection. Therefore, some experts believe that it makes sense for many people to wear such masks or scarves. In addition, such masks could remind you not to touch your face with your hands while on the go. Self-made cloth masks for the general public could also help to avoid a lack of professional protective equipment in the medical field.
In the meantime, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is also writing on its website that mouth-nose protection or another textile barrier for people with acute respiratory infections who have to go public may make sense to protect other people. However, it is warned against weighing yourself in the wrong safety with a mask: Other measures such as thorough hand washing and keeping your distance should not be neglected. In addition, experts warn that you can become infected when putting on and taking off the MNS.
Mouthguard masks are manufactured in a production hall at the clothing manufacturer Trigema. However, they are not certified.
Professionally manufactured MNS
In addition to the very simple mouth-nose protection, there are professional MNS that are now to be mass-produced by various manufacturers. Because of the shortage of protective masks, the RKI wrote that “in the general treatment and care of people with unspecific acute respiratory infections” an MNS is considered sufficient as a hygiene measure in this emergency situation, provided that the sick as well as the treating or nursing Person “wear such protection.
As MNS, the RKI defines “multi-layer, close-fitting mouth and nose protection” – a requirement that self-sewn face protection is unlikely to meet. But professionally manufactured MNS half masks do not protect the wearer from viruses, but they can collect droplets from the wearer.
Certified masks with protective function
For nursing activities or other situations in which people have close contact with suspected cases of influenza or Covid 19, simple face protection is actually classified as unsuitable. There are masks with protection level FFP-2 that have to meet certain requirements for filtering particles. For example, they are important for use in hospitals so that staff are not infected. The requirements for such masks are regulated in the European standard 149 ; FFP stands for “filtering facepiece”.
FFP-3 masks offer the best protection, but can only be worn for a short time