Mexico Says No Benefit to Wearing Face Masks as Coronavirus Cases Reach 1,688

Saturday, April 4, 2020
By Paul Martin

4 Apr 2020

Mexico’s top health officials said there is no scientifically proven benefit for the general public wearing face covers or masks in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The statement contradicts new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that encourage the use of cloth overs. The dismissing of covers by Mexican officials also comes at a time when cases of the virus have climbed to 1,688 — up 178 new confirmed patients from the day before.

During a nightly streamed news conference, officials with Mexico’s Health Secretariat revealed the latest statistics in regard to the rising number of cases in Mexico. The latest figures revealed that Mexico has a total of 1,688 cases. So far, 60 individuals died as a result of the virus. Health officials are looking into 5,398 suspicious cases that need further testing. They managed to rule out 8,602 cases where the tests came back negative.

Mexico’s primary effort in slowing the spread of the virus is encouraging the public to stay indoors and for those that must venture out to keep a safe distance from others. During the conference, Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez Gatell responded to questions about the use of face masks and clothing covers in regard to protecting the general public from exposure to the virus claiming that the use of masks was anecdotal and not scientific.

“There is no real scientific evidence showing that the use of a mask by the general public will help contain the pandemic,” Lopez Gatell said. “There is only anecdotal information from three Asian countries who for various reasons including cultural ones used them in abundance and that is contrasted in European and American countries and they have tried to show a relation. There is no clear scientific evidence.”

The statements by the Mexican health official go against a new series of recommendations by the CDC where they cite new evidence for the public using face covers.

According to Lopez Gatell, any face cover only helps to keep a sick individual from getting others sick, but it does little to protect someone who is not sick since they can get infected through the eyes or touching their face. The health official asked for the public to keep from hoarding surgical masks and N95 masks since those are needed by medical professionals working during the pandemic.

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