Face masks did not prevent COVID-19 transmission, the UK health officials have admitted in a new report that comes as a blow to those advocating face coverings for prevention of COVID infection.
UK Study on Masks and COVID Transmission
The Telegraph reported last week that UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) published a review report of 4371 studies specifically about COVID-19 transmission but could not find any scientifically valid piece of evidence to show that wearing high-quality masks, such as the N95, KN95, and FFP2 coverings protected vulnerable patients from catching the infection.
Parallel Studies Supporting the Conclusion
The story also cited Dr. Aodhán Breathnach, a medical Microbiologist at UKHSA, confirming with his own study on the effectiveness of masks in preventing COVID infection in hospitals. He concluded:
“In my view, there is no good evidence that N95 masks work any better than surgical masks.”
Healthline reported on a study of COVID transmission in St. George’s Hospital in London in ten months from December 2021 to September 2022, and concluded that hospital mask mandates did little to slow COVID-19 Omicron transmission. The study’s conclusion noted:
The results showed that infection rates at the hospital were no higher after people stopped wearing masks – and these findings were underlined by the fact that there was no delayed surge of infections after the fact.
End of Mask Mandates
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, face coverings were mandated around the world in many places, particularly on public transport and in public places like restaurants, health facilities, and theaters etc.
In the United States, several conservative states, notably Florida and Texas, soon relaxed the mask mandates as their effectiveness came into question. However, the Biden administration prolonged the mask mandate on all public transport until a federal judge in Florida ruled it unconstitutional in April last year. Following the ruling, airlines, trains, and buses quickly dropped their face-covering requirements for crew and passengers.