© Reuters. Cossacks wear SilverMask reusable face masks as they patrol the streets in Kaliningrad
By Maria Vasilyeva
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Cossacks and police officers enforcing the coronavirus lockdown in Russia’s western city of Kaliningrad have donned modified face masks that local scientists say can be worn for days without being replaced.
The trick, they say, is to line the cheap cotton fabric of the masks with an ultra-thin coating of silver.
The World Health Organization does not generally recommend that healthy members of the broader population use masks and the benefits of the use of silver against the coronavirus have not been tested and are therefore unproven.
But Kaliningrad’s Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University believes the technique could give the masks additional protective properties, although – like single-use masks – they still would not guarantee full protection from the virus.