Public Health debate about masks and Covid isolation continues today
The Public Health Commission will resume the debate this afternoon about the new strategy for living with Covid by eliminating the necessity for isolation by asymptomatic patients, and the general testing of people in general, to enter a new ‘Covid phase’ that will focus on serious cases and vulnerable environments.
The general directors of Public Health, the Ministry of Health, and the regional health authorities have been working on this document for several weeks and claim they are very close to a general agreement by all parties on the direction to take.
When finalised, the new Covid-19 control strategy will open a new scenario for managing the pandemic in which only serious cases and vulnerable environments will be followed, the use of detection tests will be left to the discretion of health professionals, and asymptomatic people will not have to isolate.
In this new Covid phase, people who test positive in ‘vulnerable environments such as nursing homes, and in the case of hospitalized patients, they will have to be isolated for at least five days as this is when they are at their most vulnerable.
However, the quarantines of the general population, which are currently seven days, and the consequent sick leave could also end.
NEW COVID PHASE:
This is how it was explained last Friday: "Quarantines will disappear in the general population, who will not be given sick leave unless, as occurs in other respiratory infections, they have some symptoms of illness such as fever, general malaise, or difficulty breathing that prevent you from working for a few days”.
The Public Health Commission also has the task of revealing when this new stage of the pandemic will begin, at a time when the incidence is slowly increasing. Last Friday it rose 13 points to 445, but hospital pressure is continuing to drop, also at a slow rate, with a decrease in ICU admissions of 6.5% and in wards to 3.6%.
WHEN WILL THE USE OF MASKS STOP?
The current epidemiological data has continued to prevent, a general consensus between all health authorities regarding the use of masks indoors.
The Madrid representative, Enrique García Escudero, insisted yesterday that the Ministry of Health must include the debate on "when, how and where to withdraw use of masks" in this afternoon's meeting.
“Given the current epidemiological and healthcare situation, it is time to start making that decision,” stressed Escudero, who is committed to withdrawing their obligation gradually and maintaining them in settings such as nursing homes, hospitals, and on public transport.
While the President of the Board, Juanma Moreno, who is also head of Health in Andalusia, reiterated that she is not in favour "right now" of removing mandatory masks indoors because current circumstances don’t allow us to, and stresses that it is a decision that must be taken based on “technical, scientific, and not political criteria”.
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