The masks are in amber, and the commitment expires at the end of the month. Experts Divided – Healthcare

On April 30, the last commitment still in force for the package of measures adopted during the pandemic ends in Italy. From May 1, unless the Ministry of Health decides otherwise, there will be no need to wear a mask in all health facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics and doctors’ offices. Meloni’s government extended the commitment until the end of the month, two weeks after the deadline, and is now reconsidering whether to keep it. In the coming days, the Ministry of Health will decide whether to renew the commitment, whether to make it null and void entirely or to ease it – and this will be the strongest evidence – in certain areas, leaving the use of personal protective equipment, according to what we learn, where the most vulnerable patients such as those with of immunosuppression or the elderly in RSA.

Among the hypotheses on the table, there is also the idea of ​​leaving the choice to the general managers but at the moment there is no final decision and in the next few days what is happening will also be evaluated from an epidemiological point of view. In this regard, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Marcelo Gemato, recently advocated against an “ideological” approach, and the experts, even if they seemed divided on the advisability of maintaining compliance, agreed on the importance of leaving protection in the areas where there are the most vulnerable patients. “I hope that the obligation to wear a mask in health facilities will not continue, even if, in cases where it is recommended and appropriate, I will continue to use it and ask others to do so. However, we must move out of the dimension of the obligation, it is time to negotiate Sars-Cov-2 Like other similar viruses. Doing so will have positive implications for many aspects that burden hospital regulation, linked for example to tampons.”

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And so at ANSA is Matteo Pasetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at the San Martino Comprehensive Hospital in Genoa and president of the Italian Society for Anti-Infective Therapy (SITA). “Naturally – continues Pasetti – I will continue to use a mask in the hospital if I enter the room of an immunocompromised person or if I come into contact with a potentially infected person, as I did even before the mandatory wearing of masks introduced in 2020 to limit the spread of the Cov- 2. I will also ask those who work with me and my family members who intend to visit these patients to do so. However, putting it on commitment now “doesn’t make sense because Sars-Cov-2 is no more dangerous today than other respiratory viruses.” He continues, saying that ceasing the obligation to wear a mask “is a way to return to normal in other closely related aspects, such as the dual pathway that hospitalized Sars-Cov-2 positives have, albeit asymptomatic but also the swab that is required to get to emergency rooms.” , for hospitalization, for a medical examination. These options – he concludes – are the responsibility of the health structures but are no longer linked to the protection of patients, who on the contrary face complications, but to protect themselves from possible complaints.

“Personally, I believe that the obligation to wear masks should be maintained in hospitals and healthcare settings everywhere. Alternatively, the obligation in hospitals can only be limited to the wards where frail, immunocompromised patients and patients at high risk of infection are admitted. Other contexts, For example, overcrowded clinics with long waiting times, to contain the spread of pathogens, especially during the flu season,” explains Nino Cartabellotta, President of the Gympie Foundation. In recent weeks, some countries have already decided to cancel the commitment and on April 6 this decision was adopted in Portugal.

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Phil Schwartz

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