newsAs part of a longer report on Covid-19 issues, GroundUp writes that it was not thought that it would be possible to ever do a clinical trial showing whether or not masks were effective against Covid-19 infections.

A lot of studies have shown the benefits of masks, but none have met the gold standard of a trial. Now a trial has indeed shown that masks reduce the risk of Covid, especially surgical masks, though cloth masks are also beneficial. The results of an enormous study in Bangladesh involving just less than 350,000 people were published last week. In a cluster randomized trial, it compared what happened when mask wearing was actively promoted (and increased) against a business-as-usual approach. Mask wearing increased dramatically in the villages where it was promoted. Covid infections went down. In some of the villages surgical masks were promoted; in others cloth masks were promoted. The villages with surgical masks did better. Interestingly, although the cloth masks did not reduce the number of confirmed Covid infections by much (in fact the cloth mask reduction may only be due to chance) it reduced the number of people with Covid symptoms significantly. There is now no doubt that masks are effective, especially surgical ones. They’re also completely safe to wear. The level of effectiveness will depend, to a large extent, on the level of adherence.


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