Due to a peak in flu and Covid infections, Spanish Health Minister Monica Garcia mandated the use of masks in all medical facilities starting on Wednesday.
She told reporters, “We have to protect the most vulnerable people.” “It’s just common sense.”
While the Spanish government has not yet enacted any legislation requiring their wear, several regions have established new guidelines.
In addition to recommending mask use in pharmacies, private clinics, and other healthcare settings like dentist offices, the health ministry mandated mask use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Last week, several regions of Spain issued mask-wearing orders to hospital employees, visitors, and patients. On Monday, the central government of Spain suggested making that requirement a national one.
Patients are lying in corridors and waiting for hours to be seen in hospitals and health centers all over Spain. Additionally, family physicians across the nation are advocating for mandatory mask use in all healthcare facilities.
They contend that the recent spike in flu and Covid cases that occurred during the winter is out of control.
Valencia, a city of more than 800,000 people, has already established rules. Alicante’s Benidorm is a part of the Valencia municipality.
The mandatory mask-wearing policy inside health centers was reinstated by the department of health on Friday.
Hospitals are nearly full and health services are handling 1,501 cases for every 100,000 residents in the city. Additionally, starting on Monday, health officials there intend to vaccinate against Covid and the flu without an appointment.
Numerous reports from 2023 on respiratory infections, such as Covid, indicated a rising worldwide rate. In just one week, the number of cases receiving treatment in primary care increased from 806 to 908 per 100,000 people.
Those who are required to wear face masks must meet certain requirements. Wearing them is required for symptomatic individuals in shared spaces, healthcare providers who handle symptomatic cases, and personnel who work in critical care or with patients who are vulnerable.
The guidelines also apply to settings where patients and their families are gathered, such as waiting rooms, hospitals, and primary care emergency rooms.
The third week of January is predicted to mark the peak of the case surge.
The province of Valencia currently has 96% of its hospitals filled!
After the Covid pandemic, Spain was one of the last European nations to remove the requirement that face masks be worn. As of July2023, people can wear face masks in pharmacies and health centers, but not on public transportation until February 2023.