Outgoing Minister De Jonge encourages the use of FFP2 masks in healthcare, although experts do not consider a highly protective mouth covering necessary when in contact with coronavirus patients. The Ministry of Health will provide these nose masks to health institutions at a low price.
De Jonge made this presentation after a discussion arose about the use of FFP2 masks in light of the more contagious omikron variant. A number of political parties have argued in favor of making mouth coverings more widely available.
The Federation of Medical Professionals (FMS) and Outbreak Management Team (OMT) believe that such a mask is only necessary for so-called aerosol-forming procedures. These are medical procedures such as intubation, where a breathing tube is inserted into the patient. Practically speaking, these masks are only used in hospitals.
Experts say a surgical mask is enough for other contact with Covid patients, even if the patient is coughing and sneezing. This position remained the same this week after review.
OMT stands for WHO
OMT wrote in an opinion published today that it is not currently necessary to amend the guidelines “after careful consultation with available scientific experts. guide and international guidelines, including those issued by the WHO Panel of Experts.”
In a conversation with NOS, OMT President Jaap van Dessel explained: “We are following the advice of the World Health Organization, and it is clear in that. All scientific advice is rigorously reviewed there. And the view of the World Health Organization that we take, is that a surgical mouth and nose mask suffices in most cases.”
This is remarkable, because in New guide for the World Health Organization (WHO), published on December 22, has a different opinion. The World Health Organization believes that health care providers should wear FFP2 masks in areas with poor ventilation and if they deem it best to protect against infection.
The World Health Organization also argues that there is still little scientific evidence that it protects against infection better than a surgical mask. But the fact that omicron spreads much faster than delta and that vaccination protects less against the new variant was reason enough for the WHO to modify its advice. The operations management team may not have seen the revised WHO guidelines.
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