College of Physicians, Malaga / sur

Malaga's College of Physicians says it is too early to treat Covid like flu

Expert opinion is split on how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Ángel Escalera

The president of the Malaga's College of Physicians, Pedro Navarro, has said that he does not agree with the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) who argue that Covid-19 should be treated like flu and restrictions, including masks, be abandoned.

"It is still premature to speak in those terms because we are in the midst of a pandemic and we should not think that the situation is endemic,” said Navarro.

“I believe that it is still early and I ask for caution. We do not know for sure how the sixth wave will evolve and if there will be more mutations of the virus. We all want to return to normality and for the pandemic to become endemic, but we must be prudent.

"It is necessary to modify some behaviors that we’ve had in previous waves and above all to reinforce primary care so that it is not saturated with asymptomatic cases so that those that really need care, as well as other pathologies, can be treated,” he added.

In a statement published on 11 January, semFYC said, “Neither the health system nor society as a whole can afford to continue testing asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms and isolating all those who are positive, because of the consequences for society and the economy due to the massive absence from work of healthy people. We must end the exceptionality. Covid-19 must be treated like other diseases. Acquired immunity and the arrival of Omicron allow it."

Regarding current restrictions including the use of masks, semFYC added, "At the present time it no longer makes sense to maintain them and their elimination should be planned, starting with the absurd return of the mandatory use of masks in outdoor spaces.”