On April 3, 2023, the Brazilian National Health Regulatory Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA), updated its technical note (ANVISA – Nota Técnica GVIMS/GGTES/ANVISA No. 04/2020) that established guidelines for health services on measures to prevent and control Covid-19 while providing assistance to persons with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease.
One of the main changes concerns the use of masks. In light of technical discussions on the subject, the drop in the number of cases and deaths caused by the disease in the country, and the offer of vaccines against Covid-19 by the National Immunization Program (Programa Nacional de Imunização) of the Ministry of Health, ANVISA recommended a more flexible use of masks within health services. From now on, the guidance for using face protection will focus on some specific situations and profiles of people rather than on universal use.
Under the new guidelines, masks will continue to be recommended for:
- Patients and their companions who have respiratory symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19.
- Patients who have had close contact with a confirmed case during the period of transmissibility of the disease (the last 10 days).
- Professionals who triage patients.
- Health service professionals, visitors, and companions present in patient hospitalization areas, such as wards, rooms, intensive care units, urgency and emergency units, and corridors of hospitalization areas.
- Situations in which the use of a face mask as personal protective equipment for health professionals in any area of the health service is indicated.
According to ANVISA, the purpose of this measure is to prevent contamination and transmission of Covid-19 in the hospital environment and to protect patients, other companions, visitors, and professionals.
Eduardo Soares, Law Library of Congress
May 11, 2023
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