Greek pediatricians call for the return of protective masks indoors

The Panhellenic Federation of Pediatricians is proposing to return the widespread use of protective masks indoors due to concerns raised about the development of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to pediatricians, the European Center for Infection Prevention (ECDC) estimates of the spread of coronavirus varieties in Greece are of particular concern, and the return of masks indoors is necessary.

In particular, ECDC estimates that the BQ.1 variant (also spreading in Greece) will infect 80% of the European population by February, while an increase in the number of coronavirus infections will be observed in the coming weeks. The ECDC, pediatricians say, characterizes the BQ.1 mutation, including its subtypes, as “particularly important.” BQ.1.1 has already been found in 29 countries, the World Health Organization announced. In fact, early evidence suggests that the BQ.1 mutant strain can elude the immune system, causing frequent reinfections.

Thus, the Panhellen Federation of Freelance Pediatricians, in a letter to the Minister of Health, proposes to return the mask to enclosed spaces. In particular, they offer:

  • the widespread use of protective masks in all enclosed spaces
  • use of air purifiers in all classrooms at all levels of education
  • open the reception of repeated vaccination against Covid-19 for children and adolescents aged 5-17 years.

According to pediatricians, low temperatures are coming, and almost all activities are being moved indoors. They also note that a significant period of time has passed since the completion of the basic covid-19 vaccination for children and adolescents. There is currently an increased incidence of both the influenza virus and other respiratory viruses, leading to an increase in the number of pediatric patients in hospital wards, the medical news website reported on Thursday.

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