Study warns face shields do not help prevent the spread of coronavirus

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A new study has warned that plastic shields don’t work, and can actually allow airborne coronavirus droplets to escape.

Researchers from the Riken Centre in Japan, have performed a simulation using Fugaku - the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The simulation found that almost 100% of airborne droplets of less than 5 micrometers in size escaped through plastic visor, while 50% of larger droplets found their way into the air.

Speaking to media, Makoto Tsubokura, team leader, said: “Judging from the results of the simulation, unfortunately the effectiveness of face guards in preventing droplets from spreading from an infected person’s mouth is limited compared with masks.

“This is especially true for small droplets of less than 20 micrometres. At the same time, it somehow works for the droplets larger than 50 micrometres.”

The researchers suggest that people who are advised not to wear face masks could wear face shields instead, but only outdoors, or in well-ventilated indoor areas.



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