School children should not be forced to wear face masks during the hot days of summer despite health regulations meant to prevent coronavirus infections, the Israel Pediatric Association on Monday.
In the statement, the pediatrics association urged the health and education ministries to revoke the Health Ministry order in the wake of the unusual heatwave that hit the country on Sunday.
"During this current heatwave, requiring children to wear masks for long hours is impractical and a significant burden, masks that get wet from sweat will become ineffective," read the statement. "Therefore, we believe children should be exempt from wearing masks until this heatwave ends."
According to the association's experts, the effectiveness of face masks in preventing coronavirus spread among children is unclear and there is no evidence in the scientific literature to support the Health Ministry's claims.
Moreover, most data shows that coronavirus does not spread among children as rapidly as among adults, and the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends only teaching staff in schools wears protective masks.
Also on Monday, Israel has seen no new cases of coronavirus or deaths in a 12-hour period for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. The current COVID-19 death toll stands at 272.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 16,621 people have been infected by the virus in Israel, while 13,014 people have already recovered.
There are 57 people who are seriously ill, with 47 on ventilators for respiratory assistance.