​​In Spain, wearing a mask is again compulsory in hospitals. Soon in Europe ?

​​In Spain, wearing a mask is again compulsory in hospitals.  Soon in France ?

Faced with the surge in cases of flu and various winter viruses, Spain has made a decision: masks are once again compulsory in hospitals. A decision that Europe should take inspiration from? Dr. Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens, gives us his opinion.

After several days of reflection, faced with the resurgence of winter viruses in several regions, the Spanish Ministry of Health has decided: from tomorrow, Wednesday January 10, the mask will again become compulsory in all hospitals and public health centers in Spain.

Spain seized by flu and Covid

This measure comes in a context of fear, while the country remains traumatized by the first wave of Covid-19. Facing the“notable increase in infections by respiratory viruses, we call for the return of compulsory masks in sanitary and socio-sanitary areas” of the country called Health Minister Monica Garcia on Monday, January 8.

Just like Europe, Spain is in fact crumbling under the numerous cases of virus treatment, particularly influenza but also Covid 19 and other respiratory viruses. Spanish doctors have been sounding the alarm for several days.

Dr. Gérald Kierzek: “A masque does not replace a light!”

In Europe, wearing a mask is no longer subject to a mandatory decree. On the other hand, hospitals can make the decision to reinstate the mask in their premises, as declared for example by the Paris Hospitals since October 18, 2023.

But can making masks compulsory again in hospital settings really act on the current epidemic? And therefore protect us? No, replies Dr. Géral Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, who sees an illusion in this decision.

“We must stop thinking that it is Covid or the flu that is clogging up emergency services. Yes, this increases the number of sick people, but like every year, and wearing a mask would not change anything. The saturation of hospitals is not going to be resolved by masks. And masks are not the solution to the shortage of beds and resources in hospitals, which are the real problem. The response to saturation is not to put on masks, it is to open beds. The mask was already a political gadget during covid, it becomes a hospital gadget to divert attention from the lack of resources.

When should you wear a mask?

The doctor reminds us that wearing a mask is a matter of common sense and must be used wisely:

  • When you are sick, to avoid contaminating others;
  • By healthcare personnel in contact with contagious respiratory patients (they even use FFP2 masks);
  • Barrier measures and in particular hand washing should be continued regularly for caregivers and patients. “But we are used to this in the hospital.” adds our expert.