Tuesday, 16 January 2024, 17:22
The mandatory use of face masks in all Andalusian healthcare facilities will be lifted once there is a "clear" drop in the number of respiratory infections, the Junta regional government has clarified.
Regional health minister Catalina García told Canal Sur TV that authorities will wait until the infection rate drops further before scrapping the obligatory use of face masks in regional healthcare centres.
She called on the general population to get vaccinated against flu, Covid-19 and bronchiolitis, especially vulnerable people with chronic illnesses, because the vaccines are the best tool to avoid ending up in a hospital.
García pointed out the region had seen a drop in the incidence of acute respiratory infections in the past two weeks, now standing at 459 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, although by the end of this week it will be possible to determine whether the peak has been reached and a fall has begun.
The minister has insisted on recommending vaccination since these respiratory viruses are likley to be with us until the end of February or beginning of March.
Last week, the Junta made it clear that it would "abide" by the decision made by Spain's Minister of Health, Mónica García, in "a totally unilateral manner" regarding the mandatory nature of the mask in hospitals and health centres, but adding that it would study whether the authority "has intentionally bypassed the legality of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (Cisns)."
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