Paraguayan Health authorities have lifted the mandatory wearing of facemasks nationwide in light of improving results in the fight against COVID-19.
President Mario Abdo Benítez signed the decree Monday, López Palace acting spokesman and Cabinet Chief Hernán Huttemann announced.
However, Health Minister Julio Borba insisted that the use of face masks should continue to be essential in indoor settings as well as in hospitals while recommending the item be worn in public transport units and at school.
The coronavirus health emergency had been extended on several occasions over the last two years, with which special contingency measures and provisions regarding sanitary regulations were established, such as the restriction of movement of people at established times and the use of face masks. Several of these measures were suppressed or reshaped after the decrease in Covid-19 cases and deaths in Paraguay. Back in January, when the third wave of the virus was at its highest peak, it was extended again until June 30 of this year.
The repeal of the special law making face masks mandatory has already been approved by the Lower House and will be debated in the Senate this coming Thursday.
Huttemann explained that the law on the mandatory use of masks established in its last article that its validity would be subject to the decree of declaration of emergency. Since it has been dropped, so must the mandatory use of masks.
Nevertheless, Health Surveillance Director Guillermo Sequera insisted that the use of masks was still essential in public and private healthcare services, as well as for people with respiratory symptoms and in nursing homes. He added that the use is highly recommended in public transportation, closed and unventilated spaces, as well as in schools, stores, and supermarkets.
He also called for people to maintain all rooms ventilated and wash their hands regularly. He also urged people who have a cough, fever, or a sore throat to seek medical help or stay at home if they can.