Spain declares the end of the health crisis due to COVID-19

The Council of Ministers agreed on Tuesday to declare the End of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 in Spain. Once the report of the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center (CCAES) of the Ministry of Health has been assessed and in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) – which did the same declaring the end of the health emergency international at the beginning of May–, the Council of Ministers has considered pertinent the transition towards a new management of the disease in a sustainable way in the long term.

“More than three years later, we can, without lowering our guard, say goodbye to a pandemic that has marked our lives,” said the Minister of Health, José Miñoneswho has specified that since the publication of the agreement in the Official State Gazette (BOE) the mandatory use of masks in spaces where it had been decreed due to COVID-19, although its use is highly recommended in order to protect the vulnerable population.

The Agreement of the Council of Ministers urges the public and the health authorities to maintain the culture of responsibility acquired in recent years and to continue using masks and other hygienic measures in the presence of respiratory infection symptoms.

Miñones has declared at a press conference that “The recommendations focus on health centers, on the need to reinforce the use of the mask in certain contexts and always for those people who are symptomatic in shared spaces, such as in rooms common in hospitals, but also in the case of professionals”.

Use of mask recommended in the following scenarios

Likewise, in health centers, the pandemic has shown the need to reinforce the use of masks in certain contexts and situations, in particular:

  • By symptomatic people when they are in shared spaces.
  • For the professionals who care for symptomatic cases.
  • For people who work in ICUs and in Units with vulnerable patients, following the infection control recommendations advised by the Preventive Medicine and Occupational Risk Prevention Services.
  • In hospital emergencies or primary care, including the waiting room.

In residential centers for the elderly and people with disabilities, although the universal use of masks is not recommended, it is considered necessary to take additional precautions in the event of the appearance of symptoms in workers, residents or visitors, to avoid outbreaks.

As for professionals, Minister Miñones has stressed that it will be recommended that health professionals carry it when they are dealing with symptomatic cases or with patients admitted to the ICU. “In units of patients who are vulnerable, the use of the mask is recommended, as in the case of anyone who has symptoms.”

New stage: promotion of vaccination and surveillance

Vaccination against COVID-19 and other microorganisms that cause respiratory infections will be the cornerstone of this new stage. In this sense, Miñones has pointed out that Spain has been an example of vaccination worldwide.

The use of protection measures is now considered highly recommended in order to protect the vulnerable population

To strengthen integrated surveillance of acute respiratory infections in a sustainable way, a sentinel surveillance system that integrates monitoring of acute respiratory infection in both primary care and hospital care and that includes at least surveillance of influenza, COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

The convenience of strengthening the strategic framework for preparation and response to health emergencies is established, for which the development of the Early Warning and Rapid Response System of the State Public Health Surveillance Network must be promoted, framed in the Health Strategy Public 2022. Within the scope of preparedness and response, the agreement establishes that it is essential to continue maintaining a strategic health reserve and maintaining shared governance mechanisms, as well as strengthening human resources.


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