Health authorities reporting saturated hospitals and patients in corridors again Family doctors are also calling for the mandatory use of masks in hospitals
The Covid and flu epidemic in Spain is becoming so bad that a number of holiday regions are reintroducing the obligatory mask-wearing rule in certain cases.
Health authorities across the country are reporting saturated hospitals and health centres, with patients once again lying in corridors or waiting hours for treatment.
Family doctors are also calling for the mandatory use of masks in health centres and hospitals across the whole of Spain, saying the winter surge of Covid and flu is getting out of control.
The Spanish government hasn’t made any announcement about the return of obligatory mask wearing but regions such as Valencia – where tourist hotspots Benidorm and Alicante are located – are already imposing their own rules again.
Valencia’s health department has today implemented the mandatory use of masks in health centres due to the rise in respiratory infections.
This preventive measure is considered relevant given the incidence in the Valencian community, with a rate of 1,501 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Holidaymakers wear face masks in Benidorm, Spain, in June 2021. Valencia’s health department has today implemented the mandatory use of masks in health centres in locations such as Benidorm due to the rise in respiratory infections
The objective is to stop infections and protect vulnerable people.
The department is also relaying the message that health centres will vaccinate against flu and covid-19 starting next Monday without the need for an appointment.
Masks must be worn in the following situations in Valencia: Symptomatic people when in shared spaces Professionals who care for symptomatic casesPeople who work in intensive care units and units with vulnerable patientsIn hospital or primary care emergenciesIn places where patients and families are concentrated (primary care waiting rooms, hospital consultations etc.)
From today, it will be mandatory to wear a mask when entering health centres and hospitals throughout the Valencian community.
The Ministry of Health established the mask protocol due to the spike in flu cases and respiratory infections in recent weeks.
The last weekly report for influenza, covid-19 and other respiratory viruses in 2023 marked a global rate of acute respiratory infection in primary care of 908.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, when the previous week the figure was 806; and in general at all levels of care of 1,501 cases per 100,000 inhabitants
The Department of Health has sent the health departments of three provinces an instruction from the General Directorate of Public Health that establishes the mandatory use of masks in health and social health centres as a preventive measure in the face of the resurgence of respiratory virus infection.
Valencia says its health services are at the point of collapse due to the surge in Covid and flu cases after Christmas and is having to send patients to provide hospitals in order to cope.
The wave is expected to peak in the third week of January.
There are hospitals in the Valencia province at 96 per cent occupancy and family doctors are seeing 15 off-schedule patients a day due to these infections, with influenza A in seven out of ten cases.
The Spanish Society for Family Doctors is calling for obligatory mask wearing in hospitals and medical centres across Spain to stop the spread of flu and Covid.
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Spanish holiday regions reintroduce Covid-mask rules after seeing surge in cases