Experts fail to see the need for masks outdoors – CVBJ
12/21/2021 at 10:13 PM CET
Come back to use of masks outdoors, a measure that was no longer mandatory last June, is one of the proposals that will be put on the table at the Conference of Presidents which convened for this Wednesday the General manager, Pedro Sánchez, before the advance of sixth wave of coronavirus. This will be transferred to the president by seven autonomous communities: Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha, Valencian Community, Galicia, Navarre, Castile-and-León and Basque Country. A measure that has caused enormous dust and that the experts consulted by El Periódico de España consider that Without meaning. “It puts emphasis where it should be; these are easy steps to take but very weak to control the situation. They are more political than scientific. Everybody knows that the problem is inside“, say it epidemiologist Manuel Franco.
President Pedro Sanchez announced last June that, from the 26th of that same month, the outdoor mask, to which Spain had since become accustomed the outbreak of the pandemic, would cease to be compulsory as long as a distance of 1.5 meters was maintained with non-cohabitants. The reasons given for getting rid of an element that marked our lives over the past two years were the vaccination breakthrough and the evolution of the cumulative incidence which, at the beginning of the summer, continued to decline and stood at 95 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
In the alert report document that Sánchez will present to the Conference of Presidents, there is no longer any question of using masks outside again
Six months later, in an unforeseen scenario, our country is tensing again because of a new wave, this time the sixth which, with omicron as the dominant variant in several communities, causes the rapid adoption of new measures to curb the health chaos In progress. come and stop virus transmission. At tomorrow’s Conference of Presidents, Sánchez will propose to the communities a series of measures that the experts that the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities have gathered in a document approved last Friday by the Presentation of alerts, preparedness and response plans such as has advanced exclusively El Periódico de España.
Reception capacity and mass events
Measures that, depending on the risk in which our country finds itself, high or very high (which is already the case if we are talking about contagions) include restrictions that mainly affect the capacity of the hotel industry or mass events. In the document entitled “The need for urgent implementation of measures control the epidemiological situation‘, there is no question, at a general level, of recovering the mask outside except when a safety distance of more than 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed, as the law says.
But there are several regional presidents who are ready to offer this option to President Sánchez. Among others, the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu or the Galician president, Alberto Núñez-Feijóo. Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Navarra and the Valencian Community join the proposal.
An unpopular measure
A proposal who raised a huge cloud of dust After almost two years of pandemic, with the psychological fatigue that this implies and which, for the experts, is useless except, specify some of the sources consulted by this newspaper, if it is about large agglomerations where it is impossible to keep the distance. There are many voices which, these days, before the announcement made by the regional presidents Arrived at the Senate meeting with this proposal, they raised their voices proclaiming the pointlessness of the measure. The controversy is again served.
Two years of pandemic and we have learned nothing. Putting the mask on the outside without strengthening primary care is an unnecessary measure that will only serve to refuel the population even more and decide not to comply with preventive measures that work.
– Lidia_FL 👩🏻🔬🧬🔬 (@Bio_Lidia) December 21, 2021
And what do the experts think? “I would say to presidents: ‘Take useful measures, not aesthetic’. Masks outside with distancing are not required. They never have been, ”he points out emphatically. Joan Carles March, professor of the Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP), except, specifically, in case of crowds. In the same line the doctor pronounces Jesus Molina Cabrillana, spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Health Management (SEMPSPGS) which explains to El Periódico de España that “to impose the wearing of the mask in the agglomerations, which is already established by the law, is a contradiction because, in the current context, the first thing is to prevent the concentrations of many people . This is the fundamental thing ”.
Dr Cabrillana recalls that, when the obligation to wear a mask outside was repealed, Spain was riding its fifth wave (last summer) “and it controlled itself without needing to keep using it”. Regarding the advisability of resuming the use of protection in the street, as suggested by several regional officials, the spokesperson for SEMPSPGS indicates that this is one more measure which, if it can be of any use, Well, go ahead, see what happens to us. But if it is set up again and they are going to authorize party favors, parties… the mask already knows where it will stop ”.
A measure more political than scientific
That same week, when the document drafted by the Alert Report was known, Pedro Sánchez will bring this Wednesday to the Conference of Presidents, the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration (HIS STEPS) recommended to close interiors and reduce capacity to high risk levels instead of requiring a COVID certificate.
“In a poorly ventilated interior and with a lot of people for a long time, there is a risk up to 20 times higher of infecting yourself”, explains Professor Manuel Franco
By resuming the obligation to put on the mask outside, his spokesperson, epidemiologist Manuel Franco, professor of University of Alcala (Madrid), is striking: “It is a more political measure than really epidemiological or scientific. The problem is not abroad, it is inside and it is already super studied and very counted. We know that, in a stuffy and crowded interior for a long time, the risk of catching it is up to 20 times higher. “
Proposals that do not control the situation
For Franco, betting on this type of proposition is one ”very easy measurement for a politician and if they decide, we will have no choice but to support each other, but you blur the meaning of the problem and, although many region presidents they put on make-up or dodge, the problem is nightlife, hospitality… places where a lot of people gather. This is why preventive measures work, just as they worked in schools or schools. telecommuting works and that’s the point we’re all going to reach because we won’t have a choice.
The SESPAS spokesperson insists that the regional presidents’ claims are leading them to “put the emphasis where it should be.” These are easy steps to take but very weak to control the situation. Indeed, this scientific society recalls that “SARS-CoV-2 will not disappear in the short or medium term” and calls for the strengthening of primary care and the development of more solid public health structures. In this sense, they demand the creation of the announced State Public Health Agency which, according to the government, will be created by law before the second half of 2022.
But also, they point out, we are in a situation where “Vaccination alone is not enough”. Experts from this company believe that it is necessary to continue betting on the already known hygiene measures but, in accordance with what Professor Franco says, given the current incidence, promote the reduction of capacity, people in social events – even with a maximum of 2 groups of cohabitants – the closure of interiors in leisure and hotels, nightlife… Measures which, according to SESPAS, should continue to be applied on the basis of the indicators of risk approved by the Presentation of alerts, at least in populations and autonomies that exceed the highest risk limits (levels 3 and 4).