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JCVI chief calls for mandatory masks in hospitals amid Covid surge

It would be “sensible” for hospitals to reintroduce mandatory mask-wearing, the chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said, as several trusts in England and Wales announced the move.

When NHS rules on wearing masks in England were dropped on 10 June, local health bodies were given the power to draft their own policies. Their guidance, however, is no longer legally enforceable.

Figures from NHS England show there were about 10,658 patients hospitalised with coronavirus on Monday. Infections have doubled in a fortnight across England – with about 1,000 patients being admitted with the virus each day.

Prof Andrew Pollard, who is also the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, which developed the AstraZeneca jab, said there were an “extraordinary” number of cases at the moment. “I certainly know more people now who have had Covid than at any time in the past,” he told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“Because there’s so much in the community, anything we can do in our hospitals to reduce the potential outbreaks make sense and so the mandatory mask wearing in hospitals is very sensible policy,” he added.

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Source: The Guardian, 5 July 2022


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