Covid experts four measures to protect yourself as cases surge

Dr Amir discusses best face masks

A professor has outlined the “best” protective measures against coronavirus as cases continue to surge.

The latest government data showed a 29 percent rise in Covid cases in England on September 30, compared to the previous week. There were 16,030 new cases in the seven days leading up to this date.

Fortunately, the following tips could help protect you against catching the virus as we head into autumn.

1.Covid vaccines

According to Dr Chris Papadopoulos, Principal Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Bedfordshire, getting vaccinated or receiving a booster jab is one of the greatest weapons you can add to your arsenal of protection against Covid.

The professor explained that this is “especially” important for those who are more susceptible to severe illness.

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However, it’s crucial to remember that the jabs are “most effective” if received within the last nine months, highlighting the importance of top-ups.

2.Face masks

Dr Papadopoulos shared that wearing a well-fitting mask is also “highly recommended”, particularly in indoor, crowded, and poorly ventilated spaces such as trains, airports, or healthcare settings.

While all masks are effective when worn correctly, research indicates that certain masks, specifically N95 and FFP2/FFP3 masks, offer the best overall protection.

The professor said: “These masks achieve a close facial fit and are capable of filtering out at least 95 percent of airborne particles, including both large respiratory droplets and smaller particles. 

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“They are commonly used in healthcare settings as they are considered the gold standard.”

While mask wearing could offer effective protection, the professor said not to fall into a false sense of security when wearing a face covering and leaving other protective measures behind.

3. Rigorous hand hygiene 

Hand washing continues to remain an “effective” way of curbing the spread of coronavirus. 

Dr Papadopoulos said: “For hand hygiene, soap and water are the best options but hand sanitiser serves as a good alternative, particularly after touching public surfaces.” 

4.Physical distancing 

Keeping a distance of at least one metre from each other and avoiding spending time in crowded places or in groups helps limit the spread of COVID-19.

Maintaining your distance from other people is considered effective at reducing the transmission of both droplets and airborne Covid particles.

The expert added: “While each of these measures is effective in its own right, their collective impact offers the most robust protection.

“Research supports this, indicating that a multifaceted approach is more effective than relying on any single measure.”

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