Face masks in pubs, football stadiums "absolutely essential" in fight against Covid: Twente researcher
To combat the spread of the coronavirus, wearing masks in indoor areas where many people gather, like in bars, churches and football stadiums, is "absolutely essential", according to a study by professor and physicist Detlef Lohshe of the University of Twente. The study showed that aerosols - small droplets released into the air when people speak or breathe - play a much bigger role in the spread of the virus than was thought, he said to AD.
Lohshe, professor of Physics of Fluids, and his team are working with the University Medical Center Groningen to study the role of aerosols in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Lohshe's team is investigating the aerosols themselves - how far they spread, how long they linger under different environmental circumstances. The Groningen researchers are investigating how much of the virus the aerosols contain, and whether that is enough to be contagious.
A test set-up is currently being built at the University of Twente for experiments, but Loshe's team has already been running simulations and doing calculations, and comparing these results to old modes. And the conclusions are clear - the World Health Organization's stance that aerosols play a negligible role in the spread of the coronavirus, is wrong, Loshe said to the newspaper. "They live 30 to 40 times longer than according to an old model from the 1930s on which the 1.5 meter distance rules of the WHO and RIVM are based," he said.
Loshe therefore already feels confident in his conclusion that the Netherlands should follow the example of many other countries and wear face masks in indoor areas where people gather, like churches, bars, and football stadiums. "I would definitely make that mandatory," he said. "I do not understand why the Netherlands is not making face masks mandatory on a larger scale."