Doctor warns cloth masks not as safe as surgical ones

A DOCTOR at Phramongkutklao Hospital today (June 28) warned in a post published on his personal Facebook page that cloth face masks are not as effective in preventing coronavirus infection as the surgical variety and urged the government to urgently distribute the latter to the public, said.

In his post Dr. Thanaphan Phibunbunnakit, a consultant to this hospital’s infectious disease department, pointed out that some things are overlooked even though they are at the bridge of the nose.

In the first of two points he made he said that those waiting for other vaccines as their first or second jab must know it will be at least another three months before they will get them.

Secondly those waiting for the third jab (compulsory), especially doctors and medical staff, must set a good example while waiting for a clear result of a study on this issue. Although the outlook is for this third jab to be a certainty, those who do not trust these vaccines would wonder how they are to survive this infection.

Dr. Thanaphan then made two additional points with one being that it is useless stocking up and hiding in the house and only contacting the outside world through the internet because eventually stocks will run out making it necessary to come out.

For those who protect themselves by always wearing face masks, washing their hands often and maintaining social distance and think this will keep them safe, Dr. Thanaphan mentioned it has not been publicised that previously when the number of infected people was low wearing a cloth mask would in theory protect them from infection.

However today when the situation has changed, with people now looking at everyone around them as to whether they are infected or not, just recommending wearing cloth face masks is not enough.

The disadvantage of cloth masks is that they do not have a wire to press down down over the nose with this being as ineffective as wearing a surgical mask and likewise not fitting the metal piece properly.

He urged the government to quickly obtain surgical masks of the type worn by doctors and nurses and distribute them widely at a low price and publicise the correct way of using them.

He underscored that no matter how coronavirus mutates and some vaccines are perhaps not so effective, surgical masks properly worn will never disappoint the user. The exception is when it is removed, especially to enjoy a meal.


Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wearing a cloth face mask. Thai headline says, “Prevents germs leaving but does not stop them from entering.” Photo:

Home Page: Dr. Thanaphan with a properly worn face mask. Photo:


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