Covid-19: Mixed medical opinion on home-made masks

Many people have been improvising masks with pieces of fabric wrapped around their faces, or in some cases sewing their own based on widely-shared patterns – but are they actually useful?

With much talk of mask shortages in recent weeks, people have questioned if it is worth making your own to use when you go out, for example to shop.

Firstly it should be noted that the French government’s coronavirus advice does not include wearing a mask at all: it says mask supplies – which it states are now improving with millions more being made each week - should be aimed at medical professionals looking after Covid-19 patients.

Most of these are ‘surgical’ masks which were made from cloth in the past but today are made from non-woven materials include plastics and paper.

More powerfully filtering ones with the ‘FFP2’ label, of which stocks are lower, are being reserved mainly for people likely to be in close contact with ...

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