No plans to reintroduce mandatory masks as covid cases rise, says UN adviser

ireland
No Plans To Reintroduce Mandatory Masks As Covid Cases Rise, Says Un Adviser No Plans To Reintroduce Mandatory Masks As Covid Cases Rise, Says Un Adviser
Dr Nabarro said that the UN did not favour compulsory mask wearing as the “push back” was too much. Photo: Getty Images
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Vivienne Clarke

The UN’s special adviser on Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro has repeated a call from the HSE for anyone who is eligible for a booster vaccine to get it. He also cautioned people about gathering in crowded spaces.Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Dr Nabarro said that the UN did not favour compulsory mask wearing as the “push back” was too much.While he acknowledged that large numbers of people were still contracting the virus, the majority were not getting seriously ill.

Dr Nabarro urged people to be careful in crowded spaces. “I know everybody wants to be gathered together enjoying themselves, but the reality is that's where the virus gets transmitted. In particular if you do have a history of limited response in terms of response, competence to dealing with infections, please protect yourselves.”

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He also advised anyone who suspected they had the virus to avoid getting close to the elderly or vulnerable.

When asked if a compulsory mask mandate should be reintroduced, he said no. “Because the one thing that happens when you instruct and force people to do things is that they can get quite frustrated about the loss of their freedoms.

“We've learned more and more that people are the solution to disease problems and they have to be partners in the response. We'd like everyone, everywhere to be following the advice from authorities about wearing masks if they believe they might have the virus or they are worried about others being at risk or more generally if they are concerned about spreading it in indoor places.

“We're not keen at all at instruction that's linked to fines because the pushback is just so serious.”

Dr Nabarro warned that immunity after vaccination or infection doesn't last long with the new variants, so he was encouraging everyone to get their booster. Vaccines will continue to evolve as the virus changes.

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