August 13, 2022

Spain: experts talk about the use of the mask

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The Spanish Society of General Practitioners and Family Doctors (SEMG) has called on the government to maintain the use of the mask indoors until the cumulative incidence falls below 50, with the government currently considering a proposal from paediatricians aimed at eliminating use in schools from the end. from February.

Quique Bassat, The ISGlobal epidemiologist, pediatrician and coordinator of the Spanish Pediatric Association (AEP) working group for the reopening of schools, said that it is ideal to eliminate the use of the mask when the autonomous communities have a cumulative incidence (AI) as low as possible.

He however went on to say: “For the general population, I would not move forward – to that extent – until we have an incidence of less than 50 cases per 100,000 population at 14 days.

“It is therefore predictable that it will be around Easter: if we continue at this rate, at least we will be close, but it is difficult to refine the prediction..”

“To this extent, all interiors, whether bars, restaurants, businesses or public transport, in principle, one interior or another does not matter. I would expect, for example, in the case of nursing homes or places where there is contact between infected people with the general population, such as hospitals.

For Dr. Lorenzo Armenteros del Olmo, spokesperson for the Spanish Society of General Practitioners and Family Doctors (SEMG), “The mask should not be removed indoors until the AI ​​is between 100 and 50, which will only happen at the beginning of summer, and as long as the transmission curve is practically flat.

“In this case, I would start eliminating it in jobs where there is distance between employees, and in those that there was not when the AI ​​is below 50.”

For nightclubs, Dr. Armenteros is more cautious: “The ideal would be to wait longer, especially if there are no adequate filters.”

And in the case of residences or places with fragile populations, health centers and hospitals, he specifies that “it should be removed last and perhaps the obligation could be maintained”.

He added: “The removal of the mask must go hand in hand with the proven reduction in the risk of transmission. And there is no evidence today of a decline in community transmission outside of schools.

Estanislao Nistal, virologist and professor at CEU San Pablo University believes that: “In addition to an AI below 50, the arrival of good weather must also be taken into account when taking the measurement.”

Although other countries have already decided to abandon the use of the mask, sight in Spain remains an expectation. Pediatricians, on the other hand, have asked for it to be eliminated earlier in schools, starting with the youngest, even though the youngest are not vaccinated.

This is according to Bassat: “Because they are the ones who transmit the least, and therefore that is where there are the least risks. As we age, this would allow us to verify that this significant change does not imply a greater risk of transmission.


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