21 Aug, 2023 @ 21:00
1 min read

Face masks are made mandatory at two hospitals in Spain’s Valencia amid a surge in COVID cases

Covid-19 case surge forces hospitals to bring back mask-wearing- barely a month after abolition in Spain's Valencia area
Image of Leo on Pixabay

WITH a recent rise in new Covid-19 cases, two Valencia hospitals have reintroduced mandatory masks wearing in parts of their buildings.

All this comes with an appeal from one of Spain’s biggest regions for people not to be glib about Covid and to take advantage of this autumn’s vaccine boosters.

Increased Covid cases are largely down to an new Omricon variant called Eris(EG.5) which the World Health Organisation says is more contagious and transmissable but poses a lower health risk.

Compulsory mask-wearing in hospitals and medical centres was abolished by the Council of Ministers in early July, though masks still had to be used in vulnerable hospital areas where patients could come under risk of infection.

Valencia General Hospital issued a circular on Monday saying masks should be worn in rooms where there are Covid patients, in the ER and ICU, in day hospitals, and for patients that have symptoms compatible with Covid 19.

Last week, Valencia’s Doctor Preset Hospital ordered masks to return to its ER and ICU, as well as the resuscitation area and the oncology department.

The decision was taken by the hospital’s Occupational Risk department due to the rise of Covid cases among health staff.

The measure was described as ‘temporary’ with other hospitals across Spain taking similar decisions.

This autumn new Covid-booster vaccinations that can deal with new variants that have appeared recently will start to be available nationwide.

Catalunya’s Health Minister, Manel Balcells, called on the entire population to get jabbed.

“In the autumn, everyone needs to get vaccinated, especially elderly people with ongoing conditions, users of nursing homes and, especially, health professionals,” said Balcells.

The Minister called for ‘calm and prudence’ as Covid cases in Catalunya.

“There is some alarm about the increase in cases but it is important to use the mask in an environment with vulnerable people, especially in hospitals,” he warned.

The Hospital Clinic de Barcelona is recommending visitors to wear masks but has not made it mandatory.

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