Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.56 21 Sep 2020


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A professor of infectious diseases says mask wearing is not being enforced, and the message needs to be doubled down on.

Jack Lambert says he cannot understand why Gardaí are not wearing them, and suggests a law change may be needed.

He told Newstalk Breakfast: "Social distancing is a major issue in all of this, you know, but even more important people are not social distancing and - we keep on not brining up the mask issue - the mask, the mask, the mask.

"The mask is the thing that all over the world you see successful countries, everyone's using it religiously.

"You look at what's happening in America, all of the scientists are standing up saying 'The masks are the important things' and then you walk around Dublin and you see no Garda, you see no enforcement.

"When you do see a Garda they're not wearing masks, when you do see a politician they're not wearing masks.

"I just really think the major issue here is we've got it wrong on the masks cause the mask is the only thing that has been proven over these months to prevent COVID.

"And sure people are bringing COVID into these homes, into these gatherings from the community, but where are they catching them?

"They're catching them in the community when they're walking around not wearing masks, or they're spreading them in facilities - for example nursing homes are happening again, hospitals are happening again - cause people are not wearing masks.

"I think we really need to get a positive message out about the value of prevention and masks."

Host Ciara Kelly  said Gardaí are not meant to cover their faces due to aspects of civil liberty.

On a legislation change to tackle this, Prof Lambert said: "Maybe so".

"If you look all over the world and you look at countries that have successfully controlled COVID and kept it down - Taiwan, China, Japan, western countries like Lithuania - they've just pushed the masks, made it a requirement.

"We've got all these reasons why we can't - 'Garda can't because of this' - you see pictures all over the world of every police service all over the world wearing masks and Irish Garda can't."

Main image: Pedestrians, some wearing face masks, on a crowded Grafton Street in Dublin City centre. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

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