Health June 4, 2023 - 10:30 am

Call to resume use of face masks due to Covid-19 is considered exaggerated

Covid-19 has had slight increases in recent weeks, according to reports. (DANIA ACEVEDO)

The Dominican Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery recently asked the population to resume using masks due to the increase in positive cases of Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases.

This call was considered by the medical advisor of the Executive Power, Jorge Marte Baez, as exaggerated because the data available to the authorities do not represent a situation that is cause for alarm.

“There is no doubt that there is an increase in cases, but this is not the first time that there are increases in passing cases in the last two months and that increase lasts for days and fades away. We cannot predict that this time it will be the same, but what we can know is that the number of cases requiring hospital admission remains the same,” said Marte Baez to Diario Libre.

The pneumologist explains that the slight increases in the infections could be due to the sub-variant of Omicron, called XBB.1.5, about which the World Health Organization (WHO) has alerted, which causes mild symptoms and which does not put the life of the patients at risk.

“It is not that we are not concerned, but it seems to me that some people and some entities have perhaps exaggerated this danger a little and are reflected above all in that, in a call to resume the use of masks,” said the doctor when affirming that the State health organizations are alert to any situation that requires a change in the recommendations that up to now have been given to the population.

The also medical director of the Centers for Diagnostic and Advanced Medicine and Medical Conferences and Telemedicine (Cedimat) said that a sign of the low danger so far of the new Covid-19 infections is that, in this center, one of the ones that have treated more patients with this disease, exceeding 26,000 in the last month and a half, only two patients have been admitted. The main reason has been that they have chronic conditions.

Pneumologists ask to resume using masks due to the increase of Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases.
HEALTH
Pneumologists ask to resume using masks due to the increase of Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases.
The Dominican Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery bases its call for using masks on the reports issued by pneumologists from this guild, who warn of an increase in Covid-19 infections.

“In recent weeks, the pulmonologists of the society at the national level, we have observed with concern the increase in the number of patients in consultations who are testing positive to Covid 19 influenza, pneumonia and other viral respiratory processes,” says the entity’s statement.

“It is time for our older adults, pregnant women and people suffering from diseases to start protecting themselves again,” said the pulmonologists’ society when reminding that even though the WHO declared the end of the health emergency due to Covid-19, it does not mean that it has ceased to be a threat to world health.

Public Health on alert
The Minister of Public Health, Daniel Rivera, called on the population not to be alarmed by the alert issued by the Dominican Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery about an increase in positive cases of Covid-19 in the country and assured that the situation is under control.

Rivera warned that Covid-19 is already an endemic disease and that permanent and timely monitoring is maintained by the Epidemiological Surveillance System of this institution that, allows the identification of health events and the taking of appropriate and effective decisions.

“It is not necessary to be alarmed; the Ministry has a permanent monitoring of the disease and has always offered the precise details and in case the data varies, the information will also be offered in a transparent manner, and if it is necessary to retake some measures, it would also be officially informed,” said Rivera when asking the citizenship not to be carried of rumors in networks.

Divided population
Citizens consulted by this media about the return of the use of masks reacted in favor and against this recommendation. Still, they indicated that if ordered, they would put them on again.

In this respect, Dionicio Jiménez says he is not currently using them because he does not consider it necessary. However, he is vigilant if the possibility of doing it again arises.

Others like Felix Caset say that they have never stopped using masks and will continue to use them indefinitely regardless of what the authorities say about it.

Meanwhile, owners of establishments with closed spaces said they would follow the rules established by the authorities in their businesses to help prevent contagion, if necessary.

While in the streets, some people are seen walking with their masks on.

The mandatory use of masks in workplaces and different public spaces was established by resolution 000016 of the Ministry of Public Health on June 22, 2020, and lifted on February 16, 2022; however, its optional use was recommended at that time.

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