São Paulo will re-evaluate rules on mask use after Ômicron cases

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The government of São Paulo informed this Tuesday (30) that it will reassess the rules on the use of masks in open places after the confirmation of two cases of the Ômicron variant of the new coronavirus in the state. According to the statement, the request made by Governor João Doria (PSDB) to the Scientific Committee of the State should be ready next week.

“Our parameter has always been the epidemiological scenario in São Paulo. And, therefore, we need to know the impact of the new variant with the flexibility of using masks in open spaces. It is necessary to be cautious and evaluate this new element. Our commitment is to the health of the population”, said Doria.

On December 24, the government of São Paulo announced that it will release the use of protective masks in open spaces as of December 11th. The use of masks will remain mandatory indoors and on public transport.

The flexibility of the use of masks in open spaces was announced after guidance from the Scientific Committee of the State and positive data on advances in vaccination and the epidemiological scenario in the state, according to the state government.

Ômicron in São Paulo

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) informed this Tuesday (30) that samples from two Brazilians who preliminarily presented positive laboratory results for the micron variant of the new coronavirus will be sent for confirmatory laboratory analysis, after testing by the laboratory Albert Einstein, in the city of São Paulo.

According to Anvisa, the test was carried out on a passenger coming from South Africa, who disembarked at the airport in Guarulhos (SP) on the 23rd, with a negative RT-PCR test result, in order to prepare for the return trip to South Africa, went to the laboratory located at the airport on the 25th, to — already in the company of his wife — perform the RT-PCR test required for the return.

At that time, both tested positive for Covid-19 and the fact was reported to the Center for Strategic Information on Health Surveillance (CIEVS) in São Paulo.

According to information from the anchor of the CNN Kenzô Machida, the couple is already in home isolation, has mild symptoms of Covid-19 and has no history of vaccination.

After the positive result, the Albert Einstein laboratory performed the genetic sequencing of the samples, notified Anvisa about the results and about the start of procedures for genetic sequencing this Monday (29).

This Tuesday (30), however, the laboratory reported that, in previous analyses, the Ômicron variant was identified. According to national protocols, the material must be sent to the Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL) for the purpose of confirming the genetic sequencing.

Institute confirms Ômicron variant in Brazilians

The São Paulo State Health Secretary, Jean Gorinchteyn, told the CNN, this Tuesday (30), that the Adolfo Lutz Institute confirmed the detection of the Ômicron variant in two Brazilians who came from South Africa.

“At that moment it stopped being in the preliminary analysis, we had a very sharp technical quality of the test carried out – the genotyping, this genetic expansion of the virus – by the Albert Einstein hospital, it was sent to the Adolfo Lutz Institute, which has already confirmed that there are two samples compatible with Ômicron, that is, the new variant detected in November in South Africa,” said Gorinchteyn.

(*With information from Rafaela Lara and Anna Gabriella Costa, from CNN, in São Paulo)

Reference: CNN Brasil

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