Updated:01/29/2021 11: 36h
The debate about which is the best mask to avoid the spread of Covid-19 has been with us since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, in the middle of the third wave, with the discovery of new strains and when no one doubts the contagion of SARS-CoV-2 through aerosols, the General Council of Nursing considers it essential that “the population and professionals use self-filtering masks -known as FFP2– in those closed, poorly ventilated and crowded places of people -such as public transport-, and especially in those where there is a greater probability of concurring with people carrying the virus (for example, health centers, pharmacies, social health …) ». “Its use is a capital measure to prevent the expansion of the coronavirus, the collapse of the Health System and many more deaths than we already regret,” says the president of the CGE, Florentino Pérez Raya.
The CGE defends that both the tax reduction and the setting of a maximum retail price be extended to all masks, provided that their effectiveness is certified.
In the opinion of the president of the General Nursing Council, “we must go further and they should be free for the most vulnerable groups, for all those families and individuals with no or very low income derived from the socioeconomic situation unleashed by this health emergency. The ideal would be to include them in the catalog of drugs and products financed by the national health system with the same access criteria based on the income and socioeconomic circumstances of each citizen. It is the most fair and sensible thing to do. According to some estimates, a family of four can spend about 1,500 euros per year on masks.
One of the mistakes more frequent that the population commits, many times due to the economic impossibility that they have to acquire them, is prolong the use of the mask longer than it should. This creates a public health problem, since they are neither protected nor prevent the transmission of the virus to others.
FFP2 masks (more than 95% filtration) and FFP3 (more than 98% filtration) are self-filtering, considered as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and can take a maximum of 8 hours. To be approved, they must comply with the UNE EN-149 regulations and bear the European CE marking.