Monday. 17.06.2024

Markku Tervahauta, head of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) told Helsingin Sanomat that everyone, even people with no coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) symptoms, should begin wearing a mask in public.

"At the national level, the benefits clearly outweigh any disadvantages," said Tervahauta.

The use of masks has been a controversial issue. Some authorities consider this is the best tactic to control Covid-19 spread. However, Tervahauta's comments are different from his official position so far because Finnish health officials have not recommended the use of protective masks for ordinary people.

"I recommend that we use fabric masks to protect others from possible contagion. If we want to be responsible adults, we can use this method to slow the spread of the virus," added Tervahauta.

The head of THL underlined that his recommendation only applies to the use of fabric masks. Tervahauta stressed that higher-quality protective masks and surgical masks should be reserved for use by social and health care professionals.

He also remembered that his comments represent a recommendation and are not an official order.

According to Tervahauta, "People can make a choice about protecting their loved ones as well as others. We would hope that masks would be widely used. For example, if just one percent of people use them, it would not provide protection to the community."

The head of THL recommends use of homemade masks