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Why healthy Chinese wearing face masks outdoors?为什么健康的中国人在户外戴口罩?

2020-3-23 13:17

It is important to note that the information provided in this Series is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

 

Tourists enjoy the flowers at the west dike of the Summer Palace in Beijing, March 22, 2020.[Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn]

 

After the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese experts recommended the public wearing face masks in the hardest hit city or during the public gatherings outside the epicenter. In reality, however, most localities require that all people should wear the face masks in public places. I think there are four major factors for the Chinese people to accept the requirements of wearing the face masks outdoors.

 

First, ideally only patients need to wear face masks, but it is hard to ask all the infected to wear the face masks because many cases are without symptoms or with light symptoms. According to a Japanese testing on all the Japanese citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China to Japan, 41.6 percent of all passengers testing positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms. Another research on the 72,314 confirmed cases conducted by China Center of Disease Control (CDC) suggests that there were 889 cases without symptoms, accounting for 1.2 percent of all the confirmed cases.

 

Second, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for the general public to keep appropriate social distancing in many public places because of heavy population density. In Hubei province, there was about 60 million population in 2019, roughly the same as that in Italy. The land area in Hubei, however, is only about 61 percent of that in Italy.

 

Third, due to cost-benefit mismatch, the infected would prefer not to wear the face masks. If only the infected wear, those individuals would get nothing positive but all the costs such as breathing difficulty, purchasing expenditures and even discrimination. Of course, this action would benefit the healthy people.

 

Fourth, China has the capacity to meet all the demands on face masks in a short period of time. Within a single month of February 2020, for example, the daily productive capacity and real production of face masks increased 4.2 times and 11 times respectively in China. On March 2, both the capacity and the actual production exceeded 100 million, which could meet the demands for various face masks of both the frontline medical staff members and the general public.

 

需要注意的是,本系列中提供的信息仅供您的一般知识使用,不能代替专业的医疗建议或治疗。


19日地震爆发后,中国专家建议受灾最严重的城市或震中以外的公众集会时戴口罩。然而,事实上,大多数地方要求所有人在公共场所都要戴口罩。我认为中国人接受户外戴口罩的要求有四个主要因素。


首先,理想情况下,只有患者才需要戴口罩,但要求所有感染者都戴口罩是很困难的,因为许多病例没有症状或症状较轻。根据日本对从中国武汉疏散到日本的所有日本公民的检测,所有乘客中有41.6%的人检测出COVID-19阳性,但没有症状。中国疾病预防控制中心(CDC)对72,314例确诊病例进行的另一项研究显示,无症状病例889例,占所有确诊病例的1.2%。


其次,由于人口密度大,一般市民很难,甚至不可能在许多公共场所保持适当的社交距离。2019年,湖北省人口约为6000万,与意大利大致相当。然而,湖北的土地面积只有意大利的61%。


第三,由于成本效益不匹配,被感染者会选择不戴口罩。如果只有被感染的人戴口罩,这些人除了呼吸困难、购买支出甚至歧视等所有成本外,什么都得不到。当然,这一行动将有利于健康的人。


第四,中国有能力在短时间内满足所有的口罩需求。例如,在2020年2月的一个月内,中国口罩的日生产能力和实际产量分别增长了4.2倍和11倍。3月2日,生产能力和实际产量均超过1亿,可以满足一线医务人员和广大群众对各种口罩的需求。

 

来自: CIKD