When can we remove face mask? What are the criteria for mitigation?

2022.4.27 06:30

People who commute wearing masks

Regarding wearing a mask to prevent COVID-19, Toshio Nakagawa, chairman of the Japan Medical Association, said, "I don't think it's time to remove face mask at Living with COVID-19," and spread the ripples.
While seeking for Living with COVD-19 in the world, the obligation to wear a mask is being relaxed in Europe and the United States, but how long will it continue to be worn in Japan? The debate is about to begin.
Mr. Nakagawa said at a press conference on the 20th, "If I do an epidemiological investigation and find that it is over, we can remove mask for the first time."
Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Shigeyuki Goto was also cautious on the 22nd, saying, "Wearing mask is extremely important. (Mitigation) will be considered while listening to the opinions of experts."
From the early days of the spread of the infection, the government and experts recommended wearing masks, and in Japan, "universal masks" worn by everyone, including asymptomatic people, have become widespread.
The epidemic Omicron strain is less toxic than the Delta, but is more infectious.
It is difficult for an individual to decide when to remove the mask.
"Wearing mask has become a habit as a social norm rather than a sympathetic pressure. It will continue forever unless experts make recommendations for mitigation."
Fumio Ohtake, a specially appointed professor at Osaka University, who is a member of the government's subcommittee , is concerned.
Takaji Wakita, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, said, "We need to think about what kind of situation we should wear mask or not."

This article is composed using Google Translate customized exclusively for The Chunichi Shimbun. The translation may have limited accuracy.