Sweden’s controversial top epidemiologist stresses that wearing face mask or other coverings change nothing. According to Andres Tegnel, it’s ‘very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game’, the Financial Times reported.
One of the most controversial issues now is wearing face masks. While the World Health Organization insists on it, the top Swedish epidemiologist expresses polar vision.
«Face masks can be a complement to other things when other things are safely in place. But to start with having face masks and then think you can crowd your buses or your shopping malls — that’s definitely a mistake,» Andres Tegnel said.
According to Tegne, face coverings are overestimated, and t is very dangerous to believe masks are able to change the situation when it comes to the novel pathogen.
Since the very beginning of the global epidemic, Sweden demonstrates its own position. While neighbouring countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway all recommend face masks, Tegnel refuses to advise that kind of personal protective equipment due to their uselessness under COVID-19 situation.
Despite Tegnel’s resistance, there’s been a growing body of research that’s found face masks do prevent contamination, including an analysis of 42 countries that said mask use was the «key» to cope with the virus outbreak.
Sweden at least recommend face masks for specific reasons
Andres Tegnel is known as the architect behind Sweden’s no-lockdown strategy, which is backed his assertion by pointing to countries like Spain and Belgium that recommended masks and still had high numbers of corona cases.
Sweden’s public health agency said on Tuesday it was looking at mask-related proposals for the Cabinet. Aat least, face mask could be recommended for specific reasons, like visiting the hospital.
Meanwhile, Scandinavian neighbours like Norway are recommending face masks during rush-hour periods on public transport. In Denmark, masks are mandatory on public transport.
Tegnel also said that up to 30% of Sweden’s population could have been immune from COVID-19, but didn’t indicate the source of figures. As of Thursday, Sweden had 85,411 confirmed cases of corona with 5,802 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.