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Treat Covid like the flu and return to normal without masks or restrictions, urge Spanish family doctors

“Acquired immunity and the arrival of Omicron allow it,” said the Society of Family and Community Medicine

EP

The Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) has urged the government to treat Covid-19 like other infectious diseases, remove restrictions and end the mandatory use of masks.

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."

They also said the current system "consumes a lot of time and resources and, as has been demonstrated again in the sixth wave, when the number of cases increases significantly it ceases to be viable and rapidly collapses.

“Let's stop visiting and testing healthy people with minor symptoms, let's stop tracking and testing their contacts, let's abandon isolations and quarantines. All these activities, which made sense in the past, have been overcome with acquired immunity (both by infection and by vaccination) and the arrival of Omicron.”

The national organisation said it wanted to send "a strong and coordinated message from all institutions to reverse the need to diagnose mild respiratory infections, either in health centres or with self-diagnostic tests."

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.”