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Up Next: Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
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Lunch with Pippa Hudson
13:00 - 15:00

Which is better, a face shield or a cloth mask?

21 May 2020 5:20 PM

Are all face masks created equal? CapeTalk's John Maythams ask the question 'plastic or cloth' when it comes to face coverings.

Since the start of the month the wearing of cloth masks while shopping and exercising has been mandatory in South Africa in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But of the different types of masks available which is better?

Is there a difference in efficacy at preventing the spread of Covid-19 between plastic face shields and cloth masks?

CapeTalk's John Maytham posed the question to Professor Linda Bauld, from the University of Edinburgh.

The plastic visors are not going to prevent transmission from an infected person... to somebody else because you're not covering the mouth, and even potentially the nose, in the same way you are with a cloth face covering which should be tightly closed around your mouth and nose.

Linda Bauld, Chair of Public Health, The Usher Institute - University of Edinburgh

The visors or shields are recommended in some occupational settings, ideally with a mask or face covering as well.

Linda Bauld, Chair of Public Health, The Usher Institute - University of Edinburgh

Bauld says the benefits of the visors in occupational settings are that they are able to be cleaned easily.

They can be taken off and wiped with bleach or a disinfectant and then replaced.

Linda Bauld, Chair of Public Health, The Usher Institute - University of Edinburgh

As far as members of the general public wearing the plastic face shields while out and about, Bauld says it's not advisable.

The WHO is not recommending widespread use of these visors.

What we recommend and what is being widely used...is a cloth face covering. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana...I've even seen videos of people using socks!

Linda Bauld, Chair of Public Health, The Usher Institute - University of Edinburgh

Listen to the complete podcast below:


21 May 2020 5:20 PM

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