Swedish health authority not advising coronavirus face masks on public transport: Report

November 20, 2020 at 20:29

Although the spread of the novel coronavirus in increasing, Swedish health officials are balking at mandates requiring them in some public spaces, according to reports.
“We don’t see that we are at a point where we might recommend general use of face masks on public transport,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Public Health Agency in Stockholm, told reporters on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.
“Face masks shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to keep a distance.”CORONAVIRUS-RELATED FACE MASKS PROTECT THE WEARER, TOO: CDC SAYS IN UPDATED GUIDANCEThe stance directly conflicts with a statement by The Swedish Academy of Sciences issued the same day.
The experts said adequate ventilation and face masks are “important measures” to tamp down virus spread indoors and on public transport.
Staffan Normark, professor of microbiology and chairman of the expert group, cited new evidence that face masks lower the risk of airborne infection, or in other words, when tiny, virus-laden particles remain suspended in the air with potential for infection if inhaled.
CDC UPDATES CORONAVIRUS AIRBORNE TRANSMISSION GUIDANCE AFTER DELETING EARLIER REVISION“It is equally important to follow the recommendations made by the Swedish Public Health Agency,” the statement continues.
During the past month, Sweden has recorded more than 94,000 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins.
As much of the world sputtered to a standstill as the novel coronavirus took hold in early Spring, Sweden controversially adopted a different approach in a bid to balance the health crisis with salvaging its economy.
The government’s approach also centered on empowering its citizens to adopt sensible practices to evade the superspreader, issuing advice – as opposed to decrees – on issues such as social distancing and limiting mass gatherings.
Schools never fully closed, staying open for those under the age of 16, and gyms, bars, and restaurants remained open.
Fox News’ Hollie McKay contributed to this report.