EPIDEMIC: With the Mutations of coronavirus, the safety distance is also now set at two metres rather than one.
Faced with the circulation in France of the British variant of the coronavirus, which is more contagious, the High Council for Public Health (HCSP) recommends avoiding certain less filtering fabric masks, one of its officials said on Monday.
“On the occasion of the penetration into Europe of certain new mutations (…) that are more transmissible, while the modes of transmission have not changed, the question arises of the category of masks that can be offered in the population generally, ”said on BFM TV Didier Lepelletier, co-chair of the HCSP Covid-19 working group.
Category 1 rather than 2
The working group of this advisory body drew up its new recommendations this weekend to send them to the Ministry of Health, he said. The medical officer of health and public health described as “a good thing in this period” the fact of “wearing a reusable cloth mask of category 1, rather than masks of category 2 which filter a little less well, even of the manufactured masks in an artisanal way where there is no control over their performance which is achieved ”.
According to the standards developed by Afnor, category 1 masks filter 90% of particles, while category 2 masks block only 70%. “Category 1 fabric masks, supplied by manufacturers, validated by the General Directorate of the Armed Forces, in terms of performance, are as effective as surgical masks”, assured Professor Lepelletier.
Are compulsory FFP2s a bad idea?
On the other hand, he judges that the use of FFP2 masks, filtering at least 94% of aerosols, in the general population “is not necessarily a good thing because we will not be able to control” that they are “well worn. “And” adapted to the morphology of the face “. The HCSP working group also insists in its recommendations on ensuring a safety distance of two meters and not one meter between each person.
“On the occasion of the December notices on shops or the end of year celebrations, we actually went to these two metres. The penetration of new mutations (…) is perhaps the opportunity to formalize these two metres, ”he said. The Ministry of Health can choose whether or not to follow the advice of the HCSP.
“These are opinions that are scientific and are intended to inform health policy decision-making”, underlined Professor Lepelletier.