“Masks continue to prove effective against Omicron”: Ministry of Health

“Masks continue to prove effective against Omicron”: Ministry of Health
A family protected by face masks walking in Bogota (Colombia), in file photo. EFE / Mauricio Duenas Castaneda

The Colombian Ministry of Health has issued a special call to citizens throughout the national territory to maintain the responsible use of face masks during the fourth peak of the epidemic, because this self-care measure has shown high effectiveness in preventing the omicron variant and others. Covid-19 strains.

The call from the health file came as a result of the increase in new cases of Covid-19 virus that were recorded in recent days in the country, which exceeded 31 thousand infections and 197 deaths on Friday, which is part of the fourth peak of the epidemic. Caused by the omicron variant, it is five to ten times more infectious than other strains.

Evidence has shown the mask’s usefulness in preventing transmission of any type of virus. So I’m making a call, because not only is the epidemic over, but we’re seeing an increase in cases, where proper mask use is even more important, which is covering the nose and mouth.Deputy Minister of Public Health and Service Delivery, German Escobar.

In turn, the Deputy Minister indicated that the use of face masks along with hand washing and social distancing are the three most effective non-pharmacological measures against COVID-19, giving an example of this being that at a distance of 1.5 meters between an infected person wearing a surgical mask and an uninfected person wearing a surgical mask, The risk is only 0.4% up to 1 hour of exposure.

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Likewise, he called on citizens to advance the vaccination process, especially in people who had not started immunization, and called for vaccination schemes for those who had only the first dose and for the application of a booster dose, with special consideration for those over the age of 50. of 1-year-olds, who are the population group most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“At this time, we present a high transmissibility of the omicron variant, which is already dominant, and has higher transmissibility than other strains. It is very important to continue to use masks in public places, but also during times when citizens are sharing with other people, even if it is in private places.Deputy Minister of Public Health and Service Delivery, German Escobar.

For his part, the Director of Epidemiology and Demography, Julian Fernandez, noted that in the country there are still High availability of intensive care units and general hospital beds. However, he warned that an acceleration in the number of deaths has been observed in recent days, especially in the past week corresponding to the increase in cases observed between 15 and 25 days before that in Valle del Cauca, Cali, Antioquia and Medellin. Bogota, albeit to a lesser extent for the metropolitan area.

“This increase is not in proportion to what was observed before; the micron has a lower intensity of 40 to 70%. If it had been with delta, the peak mortality would have been higher, The official concluded that this does not mean that people who are not vaccinated or without boosters cannot die.”

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