The Canary Islands Announces Mandatory Use of the Mask in the Health Centres of the Archipelago

Canary Islands

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The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands has announced the obligation to use the mask in all health centers in the Archipelago , despite the fact that the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System agreed this Tuesday to extend to Wednesday the making of a general decision in all the regions.

With this measure, the Canary Islands joins other autonomous communities in which masks have already been made mandatory in health centers. Until now, the use of a mask was a recommendation for use in all Canarian Health Service centers since mid-December and now it has become mandatory.

The rule, which is transitory in nature while the epidemic peak of flu and coronavirus infections lasts, will affect peripheral offices, health centers and public and private hospitals throughout the Canary Islands.

This measure is taken given the growth of acute respiratory infections throughout Spain and to try to stop the chain of infections, in addition to protecting health professionals and people who go to hospitals and health centers in the archipelago to avoid that they contract a respiratory infection.

Furthermore, during the telematic meeting this morning, the Canary Islands advocated for agreeing on a strategy for the prevention of respiratory infections to avoid situations of health tension in the coming flu seasons.

Protection measures

From the Ministry of Health, and as a complement to the mandatory use of the mask in hospitals and health centers, the population is also insisted on the importance of maintaining the necessary protective measures in case of presenting symptoms compatible with the flu or covid-19 to avoid putting the most vulnerable population at risk of contagion.

In this sense, it is remembered that if symptoms such as cough, fever, general malaise, sore throat, congestion and runny nose, among others, occur, and to avoid transmitting the virus to other people, the main recommended preventive measures are:

  • Wear a mask when you are going to share the space with other people.
  • Increase the ventilation of the rooms.
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially after blowing your nose or coughing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing with your arm or a tissue.
  • Use disposable tissues, throwing them away after each use.
  • Avoid very close contact with vulnerable people.
  • Do not share glasses, cutlery, towels and other objects that may have come into contact with saliva or secretions.

Vaccination recommendation

The General Directorate of Public Health also recalls the importance of vaccination against flu and covid-19 as the main tool to prevent serious symptoms of these infections in the event of contagion and avoids the coexistence of the two infections in the same person. minimizing the severity of the disease in the patient and the stress on the health system.

Furthermore, it is insisted that the vaccine is the most effective means to avoid contracting or transmitting the flu, especially in those people who are at risk of suffering complications if they suffer from the disease and in personnel who are essential to the community such as the healthcare and caregivers of the elderly or dependents.

Each year, flu vaccination recommendations are established in the fall-winter for those population groups with a higher risk of complications if they suffer from the infection, and for people who can transmit the disease to others who are at high risk. of complications.

The objective of vaccination against the coronavirus is to reinforce the protection of the most vulnerable people and that of health and social health personnel to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the impact of this disease on health care capacity and socio-health.

Incidence of flu in the Canary Islands

According to the acute respiratory infection (ARI) surveillance report in the Canary Islands prepared by the General Directorate of Public Health of the SCS corresponding to the week of December 25 to 31, the incidence rate of ARIs is 1,254.72 cases per 100,000 population. This data represents a small decrease compared to the previous week, when a rate of 1,296.78 cases per 100,000 inhabitants was recorded.

The age groups that have a higher incidence in this last week are the population from 0 to 4 years old with 4,408 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, people over 79 years of age, who have a rate of 1,435 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and the population of 5 to 14, a group that has a rate of 1,600 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.