Professor Fanning made it known during a session on Newstalk Breakfast that making the wearing of facemasks compulsory may not yield any significant result due to the nature of the infection curve at the moment. It is hard to tell by how much wearing masks can stop the spread, he said. 

At the moment, the number of people that wear masks is few and the majority of them don’t wear them correctly. This means it is hard to judge its effectiveness in reducing spread.  “Most masks’ are not designed to stop the spreading of the virus. 

“Wearing masks makes people comfortable to some extent but it doesn’t work as a shield.” The key point is that everyone should get vaccinated, Prof Fanning explained. 


However, the government needs to be more proactive in educating the masses on the more contagious coronavirus variants, said Dr. Gerald Barry who is a virologist when he was featured on Morning Ireland hosted by RTÉ Radio.

Speaking further, he highlighted the importance of setting up community surveillance to monitor virus levels in society and how difficult it was to model the solution because many coronavirus infections are not reported.  Therefore, it is important to urge people to report a positive test, he mentioned. 

The increasing hospitalizations show the rise in infections in the community said Dr. Barry, which is a reflection of what is going on in other nations. 

According to Dr. Barry, the rising infections are impacting the health system and will eventually take their toll on vulnerable persons.

Questioned on whether masking should be made compulsory again, he stated it’s late already, comparing it to shutting the door after the horse had fled.  “We could tell 6 to 8 weeks ago that this surge was imminent.

“Wearing masks at this point will not turn the tide, it is already late to act at this point. The warning and nudge to don masks should have been issued to the populace about a month earlier.”

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