Covid-19: study warns about the importance of using appropriate protective masks in schools

As highlighted by FAPESP’s analysis, around 1.5 billion students from 188 countries had face-to-face classes suspended. Schools were among the first institutions that reopened due to vaccination campaigns, so experts are looking for ways to safely maintain continuity of services.

The most recommended method of protection is still the use of masks. According to the study, the Cloth masks do not adequately reduce the spread of the virus and can have a transmission rate up to five times higher compared to surgical masks.

There are other factors that must also be taken into account. The study carried out mathematical simulations that exposed the importance of paying attention to the circulation of air in closed spaces, a reason that may be more important than reducing the circulation of people.

“The rooms have evolved for thermal comfort, they are usually air-conditioned, so the air exchange is very low. This is disastrous for the transmission of COVID-19”, explains Tiago Pereira, professor at the Institute of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at the University of São Paulo (ICMC-USP) and coordinator of the study based in São Carlos, SP.

Not only must the correct equipment be used, but also used correctly. The teacher says that education professionals should be trained to guide their students on how to use masks correctly.

“High quality masks, such as PFF2 and N95, are efficient to contain transmission and very cheap, compared to the cost of hospitalization in the ICU”, comments the specialist.

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