Peer bemoans people who sneeze or cough in other people’s faces

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14:10pm, Fri 09 Oct 2020
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Advice about sneezing and coughing should be offered to people to help combat the spread of Covid-19, a peer has suggested.

Conservative Lord McColl of Dulwich bemoaned those who turn their heads to the left or right when sneezing or coughing, thereby directing it in someone else’s face.

He asked what tips are being offered to such people.

Speaking during a debate on coronavirus restrictions, Lord McColl recalled wearing a face mask almost every day for 60 years during his time as a surgeon.

“I’m repeatedly seeing people putting their masks below their chin and then replacing them – they’re then ineffective,” he said.

“Now, as far as coughing and sneezing is concerned, I noticed they turn their head to the right or to the left, which ensures that the content of a cough or a sneeze goes straight into the face of the person opposite.

“What advice has been given to them?

“And what about microdroplets which go straight through the masks? There’s so much still that we do not know about this virus.”

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Conservative former minister Lord Lilley earlier said common sense has always suggested that wearing a mask could reduce transmission of the virus, but questioned the changing scientific advice on the issue during the pandemic.

He said: “Throughout this journey, from discouraging the wearing of masks to hefty punishments for not encouraging their use, we’ve been told we’re being led by the science.

“My aim is not to discredit the science – I studied it at Cambridge and revere the scientific method – nor do I mind having to wear a mask over my face – but I do mind having the wool pulled over my eyes.

“The simple truth is the reason we were initially told we shouldn’t wear masks is that there was a shortage of masks and the scientists, civil servants and politicians felt they should be reserved for medical staff.

“I hope we’ll learn from this extraordinary saga that, when the common sense conflicts with the science, we should subject that scientific advice to rigorous scrutiny.

“When we’re told there’s no evidence for something, we should not conclude that there is evidence against it.”

For the Government, business minister Lord Callanan said all measures enacted follow the science.

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