SIR: I would like to point out first that certain countries have fared better than others with the coronavirus pandemic, such as Japan and S Korea (and others) and we should ask why!

One of the reasons is face masks! At the start of this pandemic, someone told the members of Parliament that face masks were of little use in stopping the virus. This advice undoubtedly came from Civil Service advisers because of policies (use of CCTV to identify criminals) and of course was wrong. Medical staff wear masks to give some protection to patients in their care and by default a member of the public wearing a mask will give better protection to others (they may not know they have the virus) and also some protection to themselves as some airborne virus will adhere to the mask.

Some steps are now being taken to use masks more because of research and public opinion (better late than never) . The latest research only confirms what was obvious from very early in this pandemic, that the early use of masks on public transport and in other areas would have reduced the severity of the pandemic. But one point is missing in the reports ‘Social responsibility’ as the masks only work efficiently if all people use them in particular circumstances eg public transport.

So why did they delay the use of masks on public transport until the 15th! Why are they not recommending their use in shops/work places, this would mean only 1mt (if any) social distancing and less contamination in the areas.

People and companies are using masks more themselves (without being told) for obvious reasons.

Hopefully our MPs have ‘social responsibility’ and should question their civil servant advice as for more compulsory use of masks.

Malcolm Wright,

Goldfinch Way,

South Wonston