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Tokyo University researchers test masks’ effectiveness using actual coronavirus

  • October 22, 2020
  • , NTV
  • JMH Summary

NTV reported at noon that a group of professors and researchers at the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, announced the results of their experiment using the actual coronavirus, which found that face masks are effective in reducing the spread and intake of the virus. The network said this was the first time in the world for the effectiveness of face masks to be tested using the actual coronavirus. NHK carried a similar story this morning, saying that the group placed two mannequins face-to-face in a laboratoryーone designed to discharge airborne droplets containing the coronavirus, and the other designed to take in air, imitating human breathing. According to the network, when they put a face mask on the mannequin that took in air, the amount of virus it absorbed was cut by 17% with a cloth mask, 47% with an ordinary surgical mask, and 79% with an N95 medical mask. In addition, when a mask was put on the virus-spreading mannequin, both cloth and surgical masks reduced the other, non-mask-wearing mannequin’s intake of viruses by more than 70%. Professor Kawaoka, who led the group, reportedly said that there previously had been no research demonstrating masks’ effectiveness using real viruses and that it is important that masks are worn properly, adding, however, that it is also important to understand that masks cannot block viruses completely.

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