SUR

Junta introduces strict new coronavirus measures in nursing homes 'to protect residents and workers'

The regional government has said that residents should not leave the premises unless it is strictly necessary, and it has also ordered the use of FPP2 masks for all workers and visitors

EUROPA PRESS

The Junta de Andalucía has enacted new measures to protect nursing homes during the sixth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the new rules is an order for visitors and workers to use an FPP2 mask and a warning that residents should not leave their nursing homes unless it is strictly necessary.

Minister of Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre, said on 18 January that thanks to the third dose of the vaccine, the situation in nursing homes is "more controlled" during this wave of the pandemic.

Some 74.7 per cent of nursing homes are Covid free and of the 2,724 positive cases just 60, that is 2.2 per cent, have required admission to hospital, he said at a press conference in Seville.

The new measures are however necessary to protect residents and workers, he added.

On 17 January, the Federation of Andalusian Organisations for the Elderly (FOAM) said the high rate of vaccination “has saved the users of the centres from death and serious hospitalisations” but FOAM remains concerned about “the exponential increase, like never before, in positive cases; throughout the entire pandemic the number of infections between residents and workers has never reached these figures.”

The organisation also called on nursing homes to “make up for the lack of social interaction” the elderly have to face during each wave of the pandemic. If not, FOAM warns, “We will also end up noticing the impact of isolation in disorders such as depression and the exacerbation of the chronic problems they suffer.”