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Former Director of Public Health warns against ‘lazy habits’ in community response to Covid-19

“Lazy habits” with protective measures such as the use of face masks could jeopardise future efforts to control future waves of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That was the message from the former Director of Public Health, Dr Vijay Kumar, as he set out his views on the pandemic in a letter to this newspaper.

In doing so, Dr Kumar said the use of masks should be a key element of the Rock’s response to stemming the spread of the virus.

Dr Kumar highlighted how scientific evidence is shifting towards universal mask usage as a vital step to stopping the spread of the virus.

But he raised concern that, while the guidance is to use masks in confined spaces, the reality on the ground was “less than comforting”, with masks being shunned by many in situations where they should be used.

Against the backdrop of travel restarting as countries around Europe relax lockdown measures, Dr Kumar said Gibraltar should step up its awareness given the risk of a future spike in the number of positive cases.

“If so, the lazy habits carried over from the present could jeopardise efforts to control the epidemic and cause serious harm,” Dr Kumar said.

The threat from Covid-19, he added, has not gone away and Gibraltar’s success in navigating safely through future waves depends on learning lessons from this episode.

“We are all desperate for normality, but perhaps it is also time for a reality check.”

See Letters on page 6 of today's print or e-edition.

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