Most cloth masks are just fashion accessories, say experts amid Omicron threat

As the world faces a increase in coronavirus cases with the spread of Omicron alternatively, experts have warned against using single-layer cloth masks as protection against the virus.

“They can be really good or really terrible depending on the fabric used. Double or triple layer masks made from a mix of materials can be more effective, but most fabric coverings are just fashion accessories,” Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care services at Oxford University, was quoted in a Bloomberg report.

She added: “The main problem with fabric coverings is that they don’t have to meet any health standard.”

On the other hand, manufacturers of N95 masks, for example, must ensure that the masks filter out 95% of particles.

A major advantage of cloth masks, especially in terms of the environment and cost-effectiveness, is that they are reusable. Now, reusable masks that meet filtration standards are also available, experts said.

“The problem here is that if you have a single layer mask, the ability to filter is absolutely minimal and makes no difference,” said Peter Juni, head of the Ontario Science Advisory Table, in an interview with CTV News last week. .


With an increase in Omicron cases, governments around the world have tightened restrictions in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Earlier this month, the UK reintroduced mandatory mask-wearing on public transport, in shops and indoors. The rule was relaxed earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Canadians have been advised not to use single-layer cloth masks.

Since the pandemic hit, authorities in different parts of the world have said mixed things about when and where uninfected people should wear face masks and what type.

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