Hong Kong bans usage of masks with valve or vent

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Hong Kong Authorities banned the use of masks with an exhalation valve or vent for a persons quarantining at a designated quarantine hotel (DQH), issued on Nov. 24, to prevent Covid-19 transmission. (Photo Source: news.gov.hk)

Hong Kong Authorities banned the use of masks with an exhalation valve or vent for a person and their accompanying carer quarantining at a designated quarantine hotel (DQH), issued on Nov. 24, to further prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
The new direction under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Cap. 599F) came after an investigation of the two confirmed cases, who both stayed at Regal Airport Hotel located in Chek Lap Kok for compulsory quarantine after arrival in Hong Kong from abroad. They stayed in rooms opposite each other on the 5th floor of the hotel.
The first case arrived in Hong Kong on Nov. 11 and checked in the hotel on the same day. His specimen taken on Nov. 13 tested positive with a Ct value of about 18. On Nov. 14, he was sent to the hospital.
The second case arrived in Hong Kong on Nov. 10 and checked in the hotel on the same day. While his specimen taken on Nov. 12 and 14, both tested negative, his specimen tested positive with a Ct value of about 19 on Nov. 18. He was sent to the hospital on the same day.
The opinion from experts suggested that the first case opened his hotel room door without wearing a surgical mask coupled with unsatisfactory airflow caused to infect the person in the opposite room, the second case.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) strongly advised the public against wearing masks with any exhalation valve or vent as these masks cannot effectively filter droplets in exhaled air. The risk posed to surrounding people will increase if the wearer is infected with novel coronavirus or other respiratory viruses.
To avoid a similar situation from recurring, the Government has updated the directions under Cap. 599F, to stipulate that a person under compulsory quarantine at a DQH and his or her accompanying carer must not wear a mask with an exhalation valve or vent.
The CHP advised that the relevant persons should wear surgical masks properly during check-in or when the hotel room door is opened during the quarantine period to effectively prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
The CHP has also updated the relevant infection control guidelines to advise hotel staff and aircrew to remind guests and passengers respectively not to use masks with any exhalation valve or vent.