Protection from Coronavirus variants require two face masks.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, emphasises wearing two masks is necessary to control new Coronavirus variants.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — With the emergence of new variants of the Coronavirus and the possibility of them reaching the Federation, it is necessary for people to continue adhering to the prevention and control measures, according to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws.

Dr. Laws told everyone at the National Emergency Operations Centre Press Briefing that wearing face masks is very important at this time.

“As a matter of fact, the latest information says that wearing two masks will provide you that additional protection against the new variants,” said Dr. Laws. “Prior to this we advocated one mask, but the science and the latest information suggest that with the emergence of these new variants you may have to wear two masks because these new variants are associated with increased transmissibility.

“There is a risk of spreading this virus to many other people,” she said. “These risks are associated with reinfection and the variant first identified in the United Kingdom is associated with an increased risk of death. Those who are living in the countries where these variants were first identified wear double masks. They wear a surgical mask as the first layer and put on a cloth mask over the surgical mask.

“Maintaining proper hand hygiene and sanitizing high touch areas are essential,” said Dr. Laws. “Maintaining a physical distance of 3- to 6-feet between individuals and avoiding crowds are significant.

“These are the measures along with the vaccine, that are going to help us to get through this pandemic and help us get through 2021,” she said.