In Ireland, the HSE is not recommending that people wear face masks – instead, people should continue staying inside and washing their hands.
But many people are pointing to the experience of other countries – not just in Asia, where wearing a mask was more common pre-pandemic, but to other European states such as the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and now Germany.
The WHO currently recommends healthy people should only wear a mask if caring for someone who has Covid-19, however they are expected to issue a policy U-turn very soon on wearing masks which may see another surge in demand and which the government fear will jeopardise the supply to HSE staff.
Professor Sam McConkey, an infectious disease expert at Beaumont Hospital, believes the "whole population should be wearing masks" when in public places, but he also warned it could be a "disaster" if this results in a shortage of masks for frontline staff.
Professor of Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, Luke O'Neill, also believes people will be required to wear masks in public.
"Last week a scientific journal of record came out showing that when you speak you produce these aerosols and there is good evidence that they carry the virus, so I think there will be a change" he said.
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