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Guatemala eliminates mask mandate

On Friday, October 7, Guatemala’s Ministry of Health published in the Diario de Centro América the agreement 238-2022, issuing new dispositions on the use of the mask by Covid-19 and the dispositions for the opening of the new normality.

It leaves to the Guatemalans’ discretion to use the mask and establish that it will be mandatory to wear it only in certain places.

According to the agreement published in the Diario de Centro América, it amends article 4 of the previous agreement (158-2022), which established the mandatory and appropriate use of masks, regardless of the color of the health alert, only in some specific places.

Guatemalans only have to wear masks in certain places.
Guatemalans only have to wear masks in certain places. (Photo: internet reproduction)

In that sense, the new agreement refers that to avoid the increase in the contagion and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it is established as a sanitary disposition the mandatory use only in the following places:

  • Public and private hospitals
  • Health centers
  • Swabbing and vaccination posts.
  • Medical clinics
  • Laboratories
  • Elderly care and attention centers
  • Detention and arrest centers

The agreement emphasizes that the referred obligation is exempted for children under two years of age and persons who have a contraindication due to their medical condition.

The provision adds that the use of masks in urban and extra-urban transportation is highly recommended.

PLACES WHERE IT IS NOT MANDATORY

The Ministry of Health emphasizes that in places other than those mentioned above, the use of masks is at each person’s discretion.

According to the Ministry of Health, these provisions are reformed, considering the evolution of the covid-19 pandemic and new scientific evidence.

SANITARY BOARD

The Health Alert System is an internal control mechanism of the Ministry of Health (MSPAS), which allows for determining the level of risk of infection that exists for the population through the periodic measurement of indicators of the incidence of the disease, the intensity of infection, the trend of the pandemic, use and availability of diagnostic tests and the progress of vaccination coverage.

On October 1, MSPAS updated the Covid-19 health alert board; therefore, the entity informed that for the next 14 days, the red traffic light would be established for only four municipalities, and two are in green.

In addition, 92 will remain in orange alert and 242 in yellow.

Monkeypox cases increase

The Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance reported on October 5 that two new cases of monkeypox had been detected in Guatemala, with a total of 32 confirmed cases.

They are two men, 41 and 38 years old, residents of Quiché and Guatemala, who would be the 31st and 32nd cases detected by the National Health Laboratory.

According to the authorities, the first patient reported having symptoms on September 30 and is now being treated in the national hospital network; meanwhile, the 38-year-old man said that his symptoms also began on September 30 and is being treated at the Social Security.

“With these two new cases, the Ministry of Health registers 32 confirmed cases, 15 of the patients have recovered, 39 more people have been ruled out, and four remain as probable cases, out of the total of 73 samples that have been screened by the LNS,” Health detailed.

With information from Bloomberg

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