Experts do not see “scientific rigor” in the use of masks outdoors

  • They believe that this measure, which Congress will validate this Tuesday, does not make sense and causes “pandemic fatigue”

“Virtually the entire scientific world” is against the must usage, under any circumstances, of outdoor masks. affirms it Benedict Admiral, Head of the Infectious Diseases Service at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona. “It’s a measure that it has no scientific justification; much less now that the other restrictions have been lifted,” says Almirante. “Should be a recommendation”, opines. However, face masks should be used in outdoor spaces where there are crowds.

Too Jose Maria Molero infectious disease spokesperson for the Society of Family Physicians SemFYC, It is part of the sector of specialists who do not consider the use of the mask outdoors necessary. In your opinion, “there is no clear evidence” that it is useful to cut the transmission and, instead, “contributes to pandemic fatigue” of the population. “I do not think it is such an effective measure that it has been promoted in this way,” he criticizes, in line with the arguments expressed by other epidemiologists and experts and a good part of the opposition parties.

Moreover, Molero predicts that, in about four or six weeks, If the incidence continues to drop at the current rate, the number of cases could be less than 200 per 100,000 inhabitants as a national average. Thereafter, you could open a “interpandemic period” or transition to an endemic phase of the disease, which could allow “relax the use of the mask” even indoors, if they have good ventilation. In fact, the Minister of Health, Caroline Darias, has reiterated that the use of the mask is “temporary” and that, although it has been imposed abroad through a government decree, the measure can be revoked in an Interterritorial Council if there is agreement between the different ministries.

Towards the ‘flu’

The moment could come when Spain enters the phase of ‘flu’ of the pandemic, that, according to Health, will not start until the sixth wave subsides completely and the system is ready. It is calculated, if there are no eventualities, that this will happen in the spring.

However, it all depends on whether the sixth wave subsides completely and whether dangerous variants do not appear again to cause rallies. In this sense, the epidemiologist Daniel Lopez Acuna warns that “until covid is endemic and controlled, You cannot think of relaxing the use of the mask” and the mask will have to be reintroduced “at the slightest sign of outbreaks of coronavirus or seasonal flu.”

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López Acuña does consider that the mask is useful outdoors in the current situation: “Faced with such a high incidence, with a variant that has a very high contagiousness and where the entire population is not properly vaccinated [especialmente el grupo de 20 a 40 años, los menores 12 años y las personas que no han completado la dosis de refuerzo], it is important to strictly maintain the use of the mask in poorly ventilated interiors, in outdoor places where there are crowds and where the necessary distance cannot be maintained, “he says.

Likewise, the former director of the WHO recommends using the Fpp2 mask indoors, on public transport and in places of unprotected social interaction.

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