The number of new cases of Covid-19 in Brazil in the seven-day period ended this Saturday (12) rose 134% compared to the previous week, according to data from the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass).
Between November 6 and 12, the country recorded 61,564 coronavirus infections. In the previous period, from October 30th to the 5th of this month, 26,304 contaminations were recorded.
Comparing the two periods, the number of deaths caused by Covid-19 also rose, but at a slower pace. There were 312 deaths in the week ended this Saturday, compared to 251 in the previous period. The increase was 24.3%.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, in February 2020, Brazil has already recorded 34,911,937 cases and 688,654 deaths linked to Covid-19.
Increase was expected, says infectious disease specialist
In an interview with CNN This Saturday, doctor Alexandre Naime Barbosa, vice president of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI), said that an increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 in Brazil was expected, mainly because of the circulation in the country of the subvariant BQ.1 of the coronavirus.
“The SARS-CoV-2 It has been circulating among us for almost three years now. And occasionally, it accumulates mutations, which is perfectly normal in the evolution of viruses. This is exactly the point we are living in right now. A subvariant of Ômicron is circulating in several Brazilian states, and this variant is characterized by greater transmissibility”, says Barbosa.
The expert considers, however, that this subvariant “does not have a greater pathogenicity”. “It is not a more deadly virus, which will lead people to a greater number of hospitalizations, but it is an important warning for the most vulnerable populations”, he explains. Among these groups are the elderly and immunosuppressed, in addition to people who have not completed the vaccination schedule against Covid.
Importance of vaccination
The vice president of SBI reinforced the alert for the need for everyone to take the two doses and boosters of the Covid-19 vaccine. This week, the Ministry of Health reported that about 69 million people had not even taken their first booster dose.
In Barbosa’s opinion, Brazilians have diminished interest in the vaccine due to a “false perception” of the reduced risk of the disease. “ÇAs we were having a sustained drop in new cases and hospitalizations, especially during the second semester, people feel less in danger and end up looking less for completing the vaccination schedule. In this sense, we warn that Covid is coming back.”
The infectious disease specialist also highlighted the need for Brazil to start applying the so-called bivalent or second-generation vaccines, which protect not only against the original coronavirus, but also against its variants, such as Ômicron. “JWe have already put this in our alert, that it is necessary that Anvisa [Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária]as soon as possible, evaluate the approval and that the SUS [Sistema Único de Saúde] make this version available, which is much more effective, especially for these more vulnerable populations.”
Use of protective measures
Barbosa advises that, given the increase in cases, the elderly and immunosuppressed should go back to wearing masks “in environments where there is agglomeration and social distancing is not possible”.
“THE depending on the progress of this distribution of the subvariant BQ.1, if the number of cases gets too high, state governments will have to review the issue of wearing a mask, for example, in public transport and in services where there is a large agglomeration of people ”, he considers.
Registration of the subvariant BQ.1 in the states
According to survey of CNN eight Brazilian states plus the Federal District have already recorded cases of contamination by the subvariant BQ.1.
In addition to DF, the subvariant was found in the following states: São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, Santa Catarina, Ceará and Pernambuco. Three states did not respond: Piauí, Acre and Rondônia.
Source: CNN Brasil
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