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Valve Masks Called the Mastermind of Omicron Contagion in Hong Kong, How come? page all

KOMPAS.com – As of Monday (29/11/2021) afternoon, Hong Kong has recorded three cases of Covid-19 from the Omicron variant.

In a press conference, health officials in Hong Kong said that the third case was a man (37) who arrived in Hong Kong from Nigeria on Wednesday (11/24/2021).

Last week, Hong Kong’s health authorities said that the valve mask was a selfish mask that was behind the transmission of the Omicron variant in Hong Kong.

This is based on health officials’ investigations, including inspections at the Regal Airport Hotel, where the first two Omicron cases in Hongjong were quarantined.

Also read: There is a new variant of Omicron, will wave 3 of the pandemic occur later this year?

Quoted from Washington Post, Wednesday (11/24/2021), Yuen Kwok-yung who is a microbiologist from the University of Hong Kong said, one of the people infected with Omicron wears a valve mask when taking food or throwing garbage outside his room, sometimes he doesn’t even wear a mask.

Yuen said the valve mask is a selfish mask that is very likely to increase the transmission of the virus.

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“The design of this valve mask is so that it can filter the air that is inhaled. However, the air that is exhaled through the valve is not filtered. That’s not good, it’s selfish,” said Yuen, who also provided input for Covid policy in Hong Kong.

Since last year, the use of valve masks is not recommended.

Why are valve masks banned?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that if a person infected with Covid-19 wears a valve mask, the virus can easily escape and infect people nearby.

When inhaling, the valve will close and open when the user exhales.

The masks were originally made for industrial workers so that workers can breathe easier in factories that require masks.

However, medical experts say the valve renders the mask useless.

On its official website, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend this type of mask because it is not able to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

According to the CDC, these breathing valves allow droplets of a person’s breath to escape and spread to other people. That is, this mask is good for the user, but dangerous for the people around him.

The CDC also recommends that hospitals not use N95 masks with breathing valves.

Also read: 6 Reasons You Should Keep Wearing Masks Even After Complete Vaccination

“Respirators with breathing valves should not be used in situations where a sterile field must be maintained (for example, during invasive procedures in the operating room or procedures),” the CDC says.

The reason, the breathing valve allows air that is exhaled without a filter to exit in a sterile manner.

Meanwhile, surgeon and public health researcher Dr Atul Gawande said such masks should be banned.

Source: Kompas.com (Ahmad Naufal Dzulfaroh/Inggried Dwi Wedhaswary)

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