State of Rio will maintain mandatory use of masks

RIO — After a meeting of the Specialist Group on Epidemiological Surveillance of the State Health Department (SES) of Rio, the State Health Secretary Alexandre Chieppe told GLOBO that the mandatory use of masks in Rio is maintained.

This Thursday, the SES even released a note in which it states that Rio “is approaching the time when it will be possible to make the use of protective masks more flexible”. However, according to the folder, “it is still not possible to anticipate this scenario, since it is necessary to consolidate the drop in the number of cases and some care indicators, especially with regard to care in UPAs”.

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The text continues: “Furthermore, it is necessary to assess whether there will be a recurrence of cases in the elderly because of a fall in vaccine protection.” The secretariat also informed that it will only define possible new norms on the flexibility of the use of masks in open environments based on the evaluation of the professionals of the Scientific Committee. “At the moment, SES does not anticipate any decision-making,” explained the folder in the note.

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Meanwhile, some cities are already announcing or putting into practice changes to the rules regarding protection. However, the Public Ministry of Rio (MP-RJ) and the State Public Defender’s Office managed to get the immediate suspension of the municipal decree that exempts the use of masks in Duque de Caxias, in Baixada Fluminense. Since this Tuesday (5), the item was no longer compulsory in an open or closed place, which has divided the city’s population.