Never underestimate the power of the mask.
In an improbable incident recently, this was proven as four face mask-wearing employees were spared from infections at a local Starbucks store.
Earlier this month, a woman, who’s a coronavirus carrier, allegedly was the source of another infection of around 24 patrons who are dining at the store north of Seoul.
This news, albeit a relief, is alarming to the city of Paju in South Korea. After the said reports of these patrons getting positive with COVID, a red alarm has been raised by the authorities.
They are looking to know how rapidly the SARS-CoV-2 virus can spread in confined, indoor spaces and to minimize transmission.
In an interview, Ma Sang Hyuk, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Changwon Fatima Hospital in South Korea, said, “this speaks volumes about the role masks can. Masks may not provide 100% protection, but there’s nothing out there that’s as effective.”
As health authorities around the world still consider some moot points over face masks, the 27-person cluster linked to the air-conditioned coffee outlet adds more information for their compulsory use to help limit the spread of the COVID-19-causing virus.
In the meantime, officials considered that most customers present at the time of the incident are not wearing masks, all because these had been removed as they were drinking.
Jung Eun-Kyeong, the lead of the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, quipped in an interview of CNWN, “The virus may spread where people can’t wear masks while eating or drinking tea, as witnessed at the Starbucks in Paju.”
In addition, Arnold Bosman, the Director at Transmissible BV, a developer of training materials for outbreak control based in The Netherlands, said that the Starbucks case is one of “the most important opportunities to study risk factors among a more or less controlled cohort of people,”
“This Starbucks event will be a very valuable training exercise for future generations of epidemiologists,” he further concluded.
As of press time, the cases related to this infection has been rounding up to more than two dozens already.
Although it had already veered away from the steep curve, Seoul has emerged as a virus hot spot again in the latest news.
In other news. There has been worldwide support for the use of masks and its effect to help slow down the transfer of the diseases.
It has been campaigned in Australia up to Venezuela, tallying more than 23 million people and killed at least 810,000 worldwide.
Case in point, New Zealand imposed massive usage among residents using public transport and inside ride-sharing vehicles.
This is on top of the World Health Organization call to also apply for their children.
On the other hand, some countries did not seem to patronize the idea of mask-wearing like the U.S., where some people object to using masks whenever going out for dinner.
In good news, the biggest coffee shop chain in the world has allowed its customers to trace the origins of its coffee using Microsoft’s blockchain solution.