A new study published in The Lancet medical journal has found that measures such as physical distancing and wearing face masks are effective at reducing COVID-19 transmission. The systematic review and meta-analysis of 172 observational studies found that there is a 12.8 percent chance of contracting COVID-19 with physical distancing measures of less than 1 meter but this falls to just 2.6 percent with a distance of 1 meter or more.
Masks have become a hugely controversial topic but they are being credited with helping halt the spread of the disease in many countries across Asia as well as some in Europe such as the Czech Republic. According to The Lancet, the chance of transmission without masks and respirators is 17.4 percent and this falls to just 3.1 percent when they are worn. Eye protection can also reduce the chance of infection from 16 percent to 5.5 percent. The authors of the study caution that even when all these measures are combined, they fail to offer complete protection and that others are necessary, especially hand washing/good hand hygiene.