Spain wants masks worn in hospitals as viruses surge

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Spain wants masks worn in hospitals as viruses surge
A woman wearing a face mask leaves Torrejon de Ardoz University Hospital, near Madrid. The Spanish government is calling for the compulsory wearing of masks in medical facilities amid a surge in respiratory infections. / AFP / JAVIER SORIANO

The Spanish government on Friday called for the wearing of masks to be obligatory in medical facilities as cases of flu and Covid-19 surge with the onset of winter.


With the increase in respiratory infections, "we are calling" for the return of obligatory mask-wearing in hospitals and health centres, Health Minister Monica Garcia said on X, formerly Twitter.

The minister said she would bring up the subject on Monday at a meeting with regional representatives overseeing health issues.

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The meeting would enable "coordinated public health action to be taken in the face of the epidemic spikes".

The eastern region of Valencia and Catalonia, in the northeast, announced Friday that health professionals and patients would have to wear masks in medical facilities there.

The move came after doctors raised the alarm over mounting cases of flu as well as Covid and other respiratory ailments, particularly in the east of the country.

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Spain only lifted the obligatory wearing of masks in high-risk facilities such as hospitals, retirement homes and pharmacies in July 2023.

Spaniards broadly complied with the obligation to wear masks during the Covid pandemic which saw the badly-hit nation adopt some of the strictest measures in the world to fight the virus.




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