By Tamsin Brown •
Published: 22 Jan 2022 • 17:16
CREDIT: Ayuntamiento de Velez-Malaga
Sales of the more protective FFP2 masks have skyrocketed recently as surgical masks are “no longer enough” to stop the spread of the omicron variant.
Many people still prefer surgical masks for their lower price and greater comfort, even though experts have insisted that FFP2 and FFP3 masks provide better protection against the omicron variant, one of the most contagious viruses in existence. Surgical masks were dubbed “altruistic” by Fernando Simón at the start of the pandemic as they protect others from the wearer’s exhalations. FFP2 and FFP3 masks, on the other hand, work in both directions, protecting both the wearer and other people.
Experts such as José Luis Jiménez, a doctor of engineering, have stated that surgical masks do still work and “any mask is better than not wearing one at all”. However, at this point of the pandemic, when omicron has become the dominant variant around the world in just a few weeks, “we need FFP2 or N95 masks” as surgical masks “are no longer enough for a virus that is transmitted in the air as fast as or faster than any other virus known to humanity”.
The recommendations for using more protective masks have come just a month after sales began to increase. According to data from the pharmaceutical consulting firm IQVIA, sales of FFP2 masks began to overtake sales of surgical masks in December 2021, when the new omicron variant was first detected.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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