Coronavirus Andalucía Junta admits that healthcare workers are concerned by the increase in Covid admissions

The authority says there has been an "excessive" relaxation of mask-wearing

EP

The spokesperson for the Andalusian government's coronavirus monitoring group, Dr Inmaculada Salcedo, has admitted this Monday that healthworkers fear an increase in hospital admissions with Covid.

The concern comes as the number of infections has increased exponentially in recent days as a result of the relaxation of mask rules indoors and events involving crowds such as the recent Seville fair. "People have dropped their guard too much," she said. Salcedo insisted that the use of face masks is recommended in closed indoor venues with little ventilation where large numbers of people gather.

In an interview given to Canal Sur Radio and reported by Europa Press, Salcedo said, however, that hospital admissions "are nothing like they were before". While she said that "obviously" the economy and mental health have to be maintained, she called for a "degree of caution that will allow for more relaxed healthcare services".

"When people are told that masks are no longer compulsory, however much we recommend their use on a regional level, they relax, because they are not breaking the law," she said.

If they detect "too many outbreaks" or a "saturation" of hospital wards, "we will take whatever measures we have to", always in "permanent contact" with the Spanish Health ministry's interterritorial health committee, she explained.

Regarding offering a fourth dose of the vaccine to elderly reisdents in care homes, Salcedo repeated that Andalucía is in favour "from the word go", given the more deficient immunity of that group.

"We're sure about that because they are targets for the virus," she said.