Portuguese Society of Cardiology calls for the widespread use of masks

For the SPC, wearing a mask is "a solidary exercise of citizenship"

The Portuguese Society of Cardiology (SPC) calls for the use of masks by the entire population as a form of protection for patients at risk, including cardiovascular patients. For this entity, the use of masks is “a solidary exercise of citizenship”.

For the SPC, "the widespread use of masks is a civic measure that protects everyone, especially at-risk patients, in addition to allowing the resumption of social coexistence and economic activity in a safer and more solidary way."

“It is true that the mask does not protect the wearer and, especially if it is misused, it can give a false sense of security. But it is also true that one can be a carrier and spread the virus without feeling sick and that, therefore, wearing a mask protects others. Our main protection is the mask of the other», illustrated Victor Gil, president of the SPC.

It is this logic of individual protection «and, more pertinently, of prevention of transmission to the most vulnerable groups, which justifies the universal use of masks in closed public places or in which the desirable social isolation cannot be guaranteed, according to the risk of the activity performed».

In other words, what is at stake is “the precautionary principle”, which is why several countries, including the United States of America, are already recommending the use of community masks by the general population.

“We recommend that cotton fabric masks, called community masks, are good options for those at low risk. But we defend that surgical masks should be used by risk groups (the elderly and people with debilitating diseases, such as cardiovascular ones), care providers to institutionalized people and health professionals», Victor Gil.

The Portuguese Society of Cardiology is, even so, aware that the availability of surgical masks for health professionals cannot be questioned».

«The use of the mask must be a reflection of citizenship of each person who may be a carrier of the virus without knowing it and thus protects the people around them, in a solidary exercise of citizenship. The recommended measures to contain contagion, such as social distancing and frequent hand washing, aim to avoid inhaling these droplets and preventing the transmission of Covid-19. Complementing these measures is the use of face masks, whose use in the community has been widely debated and the subject of divergent recommendations by different health entities», concluded the Portuguese Society of Cardiology.