Lung association says it’s too early to give up wearing masks


The Portuguese Lung Foundation considers it premature to abandon the mandatory use of respiratory protective masks and other personal protective measures against the spread of Covid-19

“Despite the indisputable progress that we have made in the fight against this pandemic, in particular following the success of the vaccination campaign, the epidemiological situation suggests that a robust level of preventive measures must be maintained”, indicates the institution in a press release. forwarded to Lusa.

The foundation maintains that the Delta variant, with a 60% greater contagion capacity than the previous one, and the knowledge that the vaccine is not effective enough to completely prevent either infection or transmission of the virus, justifies claims. additional measures.

The institution also highlights as “not reassuring” factors the high incidence of cases (310 per 100,000 inhabitants, with an average of 2,317 new cases per day last week), a high level of active cases (45,542) and a level of mortality “still very active” (daily average of 11 deaths last week), as well as rates of hospitalizationa, both in service and in intensive care (733 and 151, respectively).

“It is premature to consider the end of the compulsory use of respiratory protection masks in outdoor public spaces when social safety distance is not guaranteed. Likewise, we believe that wearing a mask should continue to be compulsory in all indoor public spaces ”, defends the Fundação Portuguesa do Pulmão.

“The decision to end the use of masks should only be considered at the end of the fourth epidemic wave, when we have a greater percentage of the population fully vaccinated (the much desired group immunity) and Epidemiological markers of SARS-Cov-2 infections show evidence of safer control of the pandemic, ”he adds.

The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, clarified on the 19th that the decision on wearing a mask in the street falls within the competence of the Assembly of the Republic.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, pleaded last week for the end of the compulsory wearing of the mask only in mid-September and called on young people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the start of the school year.

Covid-19 has caused at least 4,472,486 deaths worldwide, among more than 214.5 million infections with the new coronavirus recorded since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest report from Agence France-Presse.

In Portugal, since March 2020, 17,711 people have died and 1,033,165 confirmed cases of infection have been recorded, according to data from the Directorate General of Health.

The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in countries such as the UK, India, Africa. from the South, Brazil or Peru.

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